Songkran road fatalities nearly double 2015 after 2 days

Songkran road fatalities nearly double 2015 after 2 days

A head-on collision involving two pickup trucks killed five people in Phichit on Tuesday. The number of road traffic deaths over the first two days of Songkran has soared almost 100% compared to that of last year despite authorities’ more-stringent safety measures. (FM. 91 Trafficpro photo)
A head-on collision involving two pickup trucks killed five people in Phichit on Tuesday. The number of road traffic deaths over the first two days of Songkran has soared almost 100% compared to that of last year despite authorities’ more-stringent safety measures. (FM. 91 Trafficpro photo)

The second day of the Songkran festival’s “seven dangerous days” saw 116 people lose their lives on the nation’s roads, nearly double last year’s two-day tally.

Despite the government's stepped-up road-safety campaign, 981 people were hurt in 907 accidents. The fatalities were a 96.6% increase over this point in 2015.

The Interior Ministry's road safety centre said 64 people were killed and 550 hurt in 520 traffic accidents on Tuesday alone.

Chiang Mai province recoreded the largest number of accidents at 45 as well as the most injuries at 48. Buri Ram saw the most fatalities with eight, according to statistics released on Wednesday by the centre.

Drink-driving and speeding remained the primary causes of accidents, with 81% of the incidents involving motorcycles. 

Police arrested 20,094 people for drink-driving and 549 vehicles were impounded at checkpoints between Saturday and Tuesday, National Council for Peace and Order deputy spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said Wednesday.

Owner of the impounded vehicles -- 439 motorcycles and 110 cars - can pick up their vehicles at police stations after April 17 when the holiday ends, Col Sirichan said.

Government statistics show 364 people, mostly aged 20-49, were killed during the Songkran period last year.

The majority of the crashes occurred on highways and local roads from 4-8pm. Motorcycles accounted for most of the accidents, followed by pickup trucks and personal sedans and taxis. Top causes of the casualties were driving under influence of alcohol, speeding and cutting off other vehicles.


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