Despite 4,700 impounds, New Year's road-death toll soars

Despite 4,700 impounds, New Year's road-death toll soars

Death toll hits 380, 3,505 injured

Between Dec 29 and Jan 4, 380 deaths were recorded with 3,505 people injured. The fatality rate marked an 11.4% increase over last year. (Post Today file photo)
Between Dec 29 and Jan 4, 380 deaths were recorded with 3,505 people injured. The fatality rate marked an 11.4% increase over last year. (Post Today file photo)

Thailand’s “seven dangerous days” have come to a close with 11% more people killed than last year, almost 3,800 accidents and nearly 4,700 vehicles impounded.

Interior permanent secretary Kritsada Boonrat, deputy chairman of the Road Safety Direction Centre, said on Tuesday there were a total of 3,379 traffic accidents between Dec 29 and Jan 4. In all, 380 deaths were recorded during the New Year's holiday period with 3,505 people injured.

Only 341 people were killed during the "seven dangerous days" over the 2014-15 New Year's holiday.

Drink-driving remained major cause of road wrecks, accounting for 24%, followed by speeding, 17%. Most crashes involved motorcycles, 83.5%, followed by pickup trucks, 7.5%.

The drink-driving deaths came despite police and military impounding vehicles of those caught intoxicated behind the wheel. Between Dec 25 and Jan 4, 4,672 vehicles, most of them motorcycles, were taken from drink drivers National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said on Tuesday.

Col Sirichan said soldiers, police and administrative officials, assisted by volunteers, impounded vehicles at checkpoints set up to enforce the drink-driving ban throughout the road-safety campaign.

On Jan 4, the final day, 5,147 motorcyclists were caught drink-driving, 381 motorcycles impounded and 4,837 riders charged with traffic violations.

On the same day, 1,857 drivers of public-transport vehicles and private cars were caught driving under the influence, 127 licences suspended, 239 cars impounded and 893 drivers charged with traffic violations.During the 11-day safety campaign, authorities impounded 3,413 motorcycles and 1,259 cars, and took legal action against 28,540 motorcyclists and 10,325 drivers of public-transport vehicles and private cars.

The impounded vehicles are being returned to owners starting today.

Motorcyclist who had their bikes seized by police after being found driving while intoxicated begin to retrieve their vehicles at a police impound lot on Tuesday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Not everyone was lucky enough to have police remove them from behind the wheel before crashing.

Chiang Mai saw the largest number of wrecks with 139, and the highest number of injuries, 140. Nakhon Ratchasima recorded the most deaths with 15.

Only four provinces reported no road-accident deaths -- Trang, Phrae, Ranong and Sukhothai.

On Monday, the last of the "dangerous" days, 40 people were killed and 289 hurt in 287 road accidents nationwide, said Mr Kritsada of the Interior Ministry.

Yesterday, Nakhon Si Thammarat recorded the most crashes with 17, Udon Thani the largest number of deaths with 5, and Nakhon Ratchasima the most injuries, with 17.

Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Chatchai Promlert said the Road Safety Direction Centre would coordinate with provincial authorities to study and analyse the statistics to establish the causes and risk factors of road accidents.

Col Sirichan of the NCPO said the junta also would assess the failed safety campaign and may introduce additional measures to curb wrecks and drink driving.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Monday the government would continue to take action again drink-drivers, but the impounding of vehicles may be replaced with the revocation of driving licences.

Road accidents during 2016 New Year holiday season

(Dec 29, 2015 Jan 4, 2016)

 

Accidents

% change

Deaths

% change

Injuries

% change

Dec 29

439

-13.6

39

-33.9

456

-11.6

Dec 30

590

-5.6

65

-8.4

624

-2.6

Dec 31

662

9.6

74

23.3

675

8

Jan 1

647

76.3

75

102.7

657

72.4

Jan 2

415

21.35

39

18.2

443

16.89

Jan 3

339

18.53

48

17.1

361

19.93

Jan 4

287

8.3

40

0.0

289

5.5

Total

3,379

12.7

380

11.4

3,505

12.4

* Change is year-on-year. 2015 New Year data were from Dec 30, 2014 to Jan 5, 2015

Source: Road Safety Directing Center www.roadsafetythailand.com


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