253 traffic deaths in four 'dangerous days'

253 traffic deaths in four 'dangerous days'

More than 250 people died in almost 2,400 road accidents in the first four of the "seven dangerous days" of the New Year holiday season, with drink-driving still the major cause despite harsh preventive measures.

The number of traffic deaths rose 11.4% from the first four days of the holiday period a year ago. In the “seven dangerous days” of the festive season last year, road fatalities totalled 341, a decline of 7% from the same period a year earlier.

Chiang Mai had the highest number of accidents during the four days between Dec 29 and Jan 1 while Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Rai, Songkhla and Pathum Thani reported the most fatalities, according to statistics from the Road Safety Directing Center.

Statistics from the centre showed 253 people had died and 2,412 were injured in 2,338 road accidents over the four days.

Authorities have stepped out efforts on reduce road-accident rates during the "seven dangerous days" — Dec 29 to Jan 4 — when holiday travel is heavy.

On Jan 1, the fourth day of the campaign, 647 accidents were reported, with 75 fatalities and 657 injuries.

Chiang Mai reported the highest number of accidents (91) during the four days to Jan 1. Nakhon Ratchasima, Chiang Rai, Songkhla and Pathum Thani led other provinces in fatalities (9 each), the centre said.

Drink-driving was still the major cause of road accidents, at 33%, followed by speeding (16%). Motorcycles were the vehicles involved in the most accidents, at 82%.

The most dangerous time of day during the four days was midnight to 4am (31%), the data showed.

More than half (56%) of the deaths and injuries involved people of working age, led by those under 20 (24%).

The junta invoked Section 44 of the interim constitution that gives the prime minister absolute power to take tough action against drivers during the holidays.

They include seizing driving licences for up to 30 days, impounding vehicles for up to seven days, and detaining drunk drivers and speeders for pre-prosecution behavioural training for 7-15 days.


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