Shocking road toll figures (again)


165 lives were lost and 1,782 people injured from 1,605 road accidents in the first three of the New Year Festival’s “seven dangerous days” according to the Road Safety Centre.

Places to avoid during any holiday period are Buriram with the most deaths with 14 people killed, while the most accidents were recorded in Chiang Rai (61) and Nakhon Sawan (56).  These provinces also had the highest number of people injured, with 62 and 57 respectively.

Four helmets out of five ain’t bad, I suppose. Four helmets out of five ain’t bad, I suppose.

On Saturday Dec 31, there were 650 road accidents nationwide, which was 34 cases fewer than last year, with 71 people killed (one less than last year) and 731 injured (15 more than last year), Probation Department deputy chief Chalong Atikanit told the media.

Here’s the important statistics – most accidents – 81 percent – involved motorcycles, she said, and most resulted from drunk driving – 44 percent – or speeding – nearly 22 percent.

Over half (59 percent) occurred on straight stretches of road and about a quarter (27 percent) took place between 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Over half of all casualties were of working age.

To attempt (not very successfully) to halt the bloodshed, police set up 2,463 checkpoints, and stopped 754,068 road users.  Some 105,144 motorists were found to have broken traffic laws – mostly for failing to wear helmets (32,659) or not carrying a driver’s license (29,644), she said.

The total of 1,605 accidents in the first three days was 91 fewer than last year, while the cumulative 165 deaths was an increase of 14, although total number of people injured – 1,782 – was down by 29, Chalong said.

One does not need tertiary qualifications in statistics to see that the people most killed ride motorcycles, probably under the influence of alcohol and are young adults.  Those are exactly the same causes as last year.  What are the police going to do?  Checking for driving licenses has not worked.  How about using their speed guns on the straight roads?  Breathalyze the motorcycle riders at their checkpoints.  Insist on helmets that meet international standards.  Those three items will produce a decrease in deaths over Songkran as well.  But will they try it?  What do you think?