Road deaths stack up in the capital
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Road deaths stack up in the capital

Bangkok has racked up the highest fatality rate from road accidents during the first three days of the Songkran festival.

From April 11–13, Chiang Mai saw the most accidents (38) while Bangkok reported the highest number of deaths (9).

Prommin Kantiya, director of the Accident Prevention Network (APN), said speeding was a key factor in the high fatality rate in the capital.

"During the long holidays, motorists in the city tend to travel at high speed," he said. "Moreover, water-splashing and other fun activities are being organised at more than 40 locations, and Songkran revellers tend to travel to various places. This may increase the chances of accidents."

Mr Prommin said the number of road accidents was generally expected to be high this year because it is the first large-scale celebration of the Thai New Year in three years since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.

The statistics show an uptick from the same period last year.

According to Boontham Lertsukheekasem, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 1,055 traffic accidents were reported nationwide from Tuesday to Thursday, resulting in 114 fatalities and 1,064 others being injured.

Chiang Mai and the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat were tied for the highest number of injuries, with 40 each.

On Thursday, there were 437 traffic accidents resulting in 49 deaths and 448 injuries across the nation.

Speeding was the major culprit, responsible for 37% of all traffic accidents, followed by drunk driving (29%). About 79% of the accidents involved motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Chamaipan Santikarn, head of the Social Mobilisation for Motorcycle Safety Project, said the number of motorcyclists involved in accidents this year remains a cause for concern.

Moreover, at least 15,500 motorcyclists were booked over this period for not wearing crash helmets, she said.

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