253 dead in road accidents in first five days of Songkran


BANGKOK, April 16 – Thailand’s holiday death toll reached 253 in road accidents throughout the country through the first five days of the Songkran holidays April 11-17, according to the Road Safety Centre of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Cumulative road accidents through Sunday reached 2,581 with 2,751 persons injured.

On Sunday alone, there were 447 road accidents, killing 43 people and injuring 463 others.

Overall, the most fatalities were reported in Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani with 10 deaths each, while the highest number of injured was seen in Chiang Rai at 106.

No accidents were reported in Nong Bua Lam Phu and no casualties were reported in 12 provinces — Kamphang Phet, Nakhon Phanom, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Chon Buri, Lop Buri, Sing Buri, Trat, Trang, Pattani, Yala, Ranong and Satun.

Drunken driving continues to be a major cause of road accidents with alcohol consumption a factor in 42 per cent of the registered accidents, followed by speeding at 21 per cent.

Motorcycles are the vehicle type credited with causing or otherwise being involved in the highest number of accidents at 83 per cent, followed by pickup trucks with 12 per cent.

Transport Minister Jarupong Ruangsuwan said on Monday that as many as 250,000 people are expected to return to the capital by bus today after celebrating the long traditional Songkran new year holiday with their families upcountry.

The minister said he instructed the government-operated Transport Company to provide sufficient services and coordinate with other agencies to accommodate the unusually large number of passengers.

Meanwhile, the capital’s Mo Chit 2 Bus Terminal and Hua Lampong central railway station are crowded with heavy traffic reported on Phetkasem and Mitraphap roads to the South and Northeast.