26 killed, 238 injured on first day of Songkran travel

26 killed, 238 injured on first day of Songkran travel

A family walks past a waiting passenger van at a vehicle park in Rangsit, Pathum Thani province, on Monday. Twenty-six people were killed in 237 road accidents on Monday, the first of the
A family walks past a waiting passenger van at a vehicle park in Rangsit, Pathum Thani province, on Monday. Twenty-six people were killed in 237 road accidents on Monday, the first of the "seven deadly days" of Songkran travel. (Photo: Apichit Jinakul)

Twenty-six people were killed and 238 injured in 237 accidents on Monday, the first of the "seven deadly days" of the Songkran festival, with speeding the biggest single cause of accidents, interior deputy permanent secretary Nirat Pongsithithavorn said on Tuesday.

Mr Nirat was speaking after a video conference of the ministry's sub-committee on the prevention and reduction of road accidents, which compiled the figures from reports of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation and other agencies.

The so-called seven deadly days of Songkran travel run from April 11-17.

On Monday there were 237 road accidents across the country with 26 people killed and 238 injured, Mr Nirat said.

Speeding was blamed for largest group of accidents (about 33%), followed by drink-driving (22%).

Most of the accidents, about 84%, involved motorcycles. Of the total, 45% of accidents occurred on roads of the Highway Department and 30% on roads under the jurisdiction of tambon administration organisations. The great majority, about 84%, occurred on straight roads.

Nakhon Si Thammarat province in the South reported the most accidents (12) and injuries (14). The province with most road deaths was Suphan Buri (3).

There were 1,902 main safety checkpoints in operation, manned by 56,343 officials, throughout the country.

A total of 350,748 vehicles were pulled over for safety checks and 64,343 drivers were charged - 18,275 for not having a licence and 17,748 for not wearing a safety helmet.

Boontham Lertsukheekasem, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said the numbers of deaths and injured were down about 40% from the average of the first of the seven dangerous days over the past three years.


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