364 killed on roads during 'seven dangerous days'

364 killed on roads during 'seven dangerous days'

This songthaew pickup truck overturned in Surin, killing one person and injuring 17 others on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Nopparat Kingkaew)
This songthaew pickup truck overturned in Surin, killing one person and injuring 17 others on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Nopparat Kingkaew)

A total of 364 people were killed and 3,559 injured in 3,373 road accidents nationwide during the "seven dangerous days" of this year's Songkran Festival, Deputy Interior Minister Sutee Markboon said on Thursday.

This year's Songkran road toll, from April 9-15, was considerably higher than last year's.  During April 11-17 last year there were a total of 2,992 road accidents, with 322 deaths and 3,225 injuries.

Four out of  every five accidents this year involved motorcycles.

On April 15 alone, the last of the seven dangerous days, there were 458 accidents. in which 58 people died and 489 others were injured.

Of the 3,373 accidents this year, most were attributed to drink driving (39.31%), followed by speeding (24.35%). 

Most of the accidents involved motorcycles (81.34%).

The most deadly time to be on the roads was from 4.01pm-8pm, when 30.50% of the accidents occurred.

Phitsanulok province recorded the most accidents, 141, while Surin had the most fatalities with 16 deaths and 152 injuries.

Five provinces completed Songkran with no road deaths -- Phuket, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon.

Mr Sutee, speaking at a press conference, attributed the high death and injury toll to drink driving and speeding without wearing safety gear such as crash helmets.

Prime Minister's Office Minister Panadda Diskul said most Songkran revellers returned to Bangkok while the water festival was still going on in some provinces.

Every province had been instructed to prepare a report on safety measures taken during the Songkran Festival. The information would be used to lay down a better safety plan for future holiday exoduses, he said.

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