Songkran death toll rises to 188 after three days

Songkran death toll rises to 188 after three days

Police and rescue workers try to retrieve injured and dead victims from the wreckage of a pickup truck after the vehicle veered off a road and hit a barrier as it failed to overtake another car I in Tha Pla district, Uttaradit, on April 13. The impact killed two people and injured six others, two seriously. (Photo by Boonnum Kerdkaew)
Police and rescue workers try to retrieve injured and dead victims from the wreckage of a pickup truck after the vehicle veered off a road and hit a barrier as it failed to overtake another car I in Tha Pla district, Uttaradit, on April 13. The impact killed two people and injured six others, two seriously. (Photo by Boonnum Kerdkaew)

The first three days of Songkran's “seven dangerous days’’ saw 188 deaths and 1,934 people hospitalised in 1,846 road accidents across the country.

On Friday alone, the Songkran Day, there were 820 road accidents, claiming 86 lives and hospitalising 852 people,  Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak Limsangkat, commander of Special Branch Police 3, said on Saturday.

This brought the accumulated death toll from April 11 to 13 to 188 in 1,846 accidents, which also injured 1,934 people. Drink-driving remained the major cause of the crashes (47.6%), followed by speeding (27.4%).

Most of the accidents (78.9%), involved motorcycles, said Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak.

Provincial authorities have instructed police and officials manning checkpoints to strictly enforce traffic laws, particularly in at-risk districts. 

At 2,029 checkpoints nationwide, 172,294 people faced legal action for traffic law violations. Of the total, 50,197 failed to wear crash helmets and 45,485 drove without licences, said the Special Branch Police 3 commander.

Chiang Mai saw the highest numbers of road accidents (65) and injuries (70). Nakhon Ratchasima, Buri Ram and Phetchabun, saw the highest death toll (8 each).  Eleven provinces reported no deaths, said Pol Maj Gen Ekkarak.

Department of Disaster  Prevention and Mitigation chief Chayapol Thitisak, in his capacity as secretary to the Road Safety Centre, said 57.4% of the people killed in Songkran road accidents over the past three days were local people living in the areas where the crashes occurred. Most of the dead victims (80.8%) were drivers.

The centre has instructed provincial authorities to strictly check motorcycle drivers and car drivers whose behaviours, including drink driving and speeding, were at risk.

Meanwhile, a total of 113,960 people were found to have violated the anti-drink driving measures over the past three days, with 2,991 vehicles impounded, National Council for Peace and Order and army spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said on Saturday.

The impounded vehicles were being properly cared for. Owners could contact officials to get their vehicles after the Songkran holiday, said Col Sirichan.


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