Songkran road death toll reaches 204

Songkran road death toll reaches 204

Five-day total down from 222 in same period last year

Traffic builds up on a southbound lane heading to Bangkok from Nakhon Ratchasima as many vehicles carrying Songkran revellers started returning to the capital from the Northeast on Saturday. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)
Traffic builds up on a southbound lane heading to Bangkok from Nakhon Ratchasima as many vehicles carrying Songkran revellers started returning to the capital from the Northeast on Saturday. (Photo: Prasit Tangprasert)

Traffic fatalities on the first five days of Songkran holiday travel have reached 204, a decrease from 222 reported in the same period last year, according to government data released on Saturday.

A total of 1,452 people were injured in 1,478 road accidents from April 11-15, Interior Ministry deputy permanent secretary Nirat Pongsithithavorn said on Saturday, citing a report from the Road Safety Centre. The accident total was down 18% from 1,799 in the first five days of the Songkran period last year.

On Friday alone, the fifth of the “seven dangerous days” of holiday travel, 44 people were killed and 263 admitted to hospital as a result of 277 road accidents nationwide.

Speeding was the main cause of accidents (39.35%), followed by drink-driving (28.5%). Most accidents involved motorcycles, which accounted for 77.7%, said Mr Nirat.

Chiang Mai has recorded the highest number of deaths at 8. The northern tourist province has also seen the most injuries and road accidents at 58 and 60, respectively.

Twelve provinces have reported zero deaths so far: Trang, Nakhon Phanom, Bueng Kan, Prachin Buri, Pattani, Yala, Ranong, Lamphun, Samut Songkhram, Sing Buri, Nong Bua Lam Phu and Amnat Charoen.

Heavy traffic was reported on major and secondary roads on Saturday as Songkran revellers began returning to Bangkok and other provinces.

Special lanes have been opened in areas congested with vehicles and areas prone to road accidents were closed, said Boontham Lerdsukheekasem, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

During the seven-day Songkran travel period last year, a total of 277 people were killed and 2,357 injured in almost 2,400 road accidents.

(Note: A previous version of this story stated incorrectly that the 5-day death total at Songkran last year was 192)


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