Songkran road accidents claim nearly 200 lives

Songkran road accidents claim nearly 200 lives

Police set up a checkpoint to screen out drunk drivers in Muang district of Phitsanulok on Saturday night. (Photo: Chinnawat Singha)
Police set up a checkpoint to screen out drunk drivers in Muang district of Phitsanulok on Saturday night. (Photo: Chinnawat Singha)

During the first five days of Songkran festival travel, traffic accidents killed 197 people and injured 1,738 others, according to the Interior Ministry.

Chotenarin Kerdsom, deputy permanent secretary of the Interior Ministry, said on Sunday that the casualties occurred in 1,744 accidents on roads nationwide from April 11 to 15.

During the period, the most accidents (59) happened in the northern province of Nan and the highest death toll, 15, was recorded in Bangkok. The highest number of people injured in the traffic accidents was reported in Nan, at 59 people, he said.

On Sunday, April 15 alone, there were 311 traffic accidents, 31 fatalities and 304 injured people.

Speed limit violations caused 35.37% of the accidents, followed by drink driving (25.72%). Motorcycles were involved in 78.93% of the accidents.

Mr Chotenarin said that most Songkran travelers were returning from their holiday on Sunday and thus traffic volumes were building up. He warned motorists to take precautions because they might be tired from their Songkran holiday activities.

Meanwhile, Weerakit Hanparipan, director-general of the Department of Probation, said that from April 11 to 15 there were 5,869 cases of drink driving, 95 cases of drivers abusing drugs and 23 cases of reckless driving.

Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Prachuap Wongsuk said the number of Songkran traffic accidents on the first five days of Songkran holiday travel rose 17.20% from the same period last year but dropped by 12.58% from the average over the past three years.

The number of injured people increased by 19.70% from last year but fell by 13.53% from the three-year average. The number of traffic accident deaths went down by 10.05% from a year earlier and decreased by 21.51% compared with the past three-year average, he said.

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