Mass exodus on the road

Mass exodus on the road

Two million people rely on public transport to get home

Mitraphap Highway from Nakhon Ratchasima to other northeastern provinces is jam-packed with traffic yesterday as people leave Bangkok to spend the four-day long holiday with their families.
Mitraphap Highway from Nakhon Ratchasima to other northeastern provinces is jam-packed with traffic yesterday as people leave Bangkok to spend the four-day long holiday with their families.

More than 2 million people used public transport to travel to their provincial homes and for leisure trips on the eve of the Asahna Bucha Day and Buddhist Lent weekend on Friday, according to the Transport Ministry.

Asahna Bucha Day is celebrated on Sunday while Monday marks the beginning Buddhist Lent. Monday and Tuesday are marked as public holidays.

Chaiwat Tongkamkoon, permanent secretary for transport, on Friday said 2,272,275 people boarded public transport vehicles on Friday, 7.79% more than predicted.

In terms of travel by private cars, 2,684,726 vehicles entered and left Bangkok on Friday, 15.8% lower than expected.

Mr Chaiwat said there were 54 accidents on Friday and yesterday on network roads under the supervision of the ministry, with nine people dead and 47 others injured. Most of the accidents, or 39.65%, involved pickup trucks.

He also said the most common cause of accidents, at 59.65%, is speeding.

Given large numbers of people using public transport services, Mr Chaiwat said, he has instructed state agencies to strictly enforce health and safety measures to keep the risk of Covid-19 infection at bay.

Transport personnel and passengers are required to maintain physical distancing in terminals and buses.

They are also required to have their body temperature checked, wear a face mask and use the Thai Chana app to check in and out of terminals.

Maj Narin Pinsakul, chief of the Khao Yai National Park, said the number of visitors to the park has increased since it reopened on July 1, following months of closure due to Covid-19.

More than 3,000 holidaymakers have logged their entry via the QueQ app so far, he said.

However, the most commonly found problem is that visitors tend to take off their face mask upon entry, prompting officials to issue a warning, Maj Narin said.

Overall, visitors have cooperated by having their temperature checked and using hai Chana app, he added.

Maj Narin said speed cameras have been installed around the park to protect wild animals from being hit by cars.

He said the cameras help ensure drivers observe the 60 kilometres per hour limit.

The number of visitors to popular tourist spots in the park is limited to prevent overcrowding amid Covid-19 fears, he said.

These spots include the Khao Yai visitor center, Haew Suwat waterfall, Lam Ta Khong camping ground, and Pha Kluai Mai camping ground and waterfall, as well as Haew Narok waterfall.


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