PM not content with reduced New Year’s road accidents toll

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BANGKOK, 7 January 2015 – Despite the drop in the number of fatalities resulting from road accidents during the New Year’s holiday travel period, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Tuesday he was not content with the figure.

General Prayut said the government was still not content although the casualties figure had improved, as the government wanted to minimize losses. He said relevant agencies have been tasked with making improvements to roads that did not meet standard. The prime minister added that he would like to thank state officials who worked hard to minimize losses during the New year’s travel period.

A total of 2,997 road accidents occurred during the seven days of peak travel period for the New Year’s holiday, according to the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department. 341 fatalities and 3,117 injuries resulted from the said accidents. The major cause of accidents was, as usual, drunk driving; motorcycles were the type of vehicle involved in the highest number of accidents. In comparison, 366 people were killed and 3,345 were wounded by 3,174 road accidents during the same period of the previous year.

Chatchai Promlert, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, attributed the reduced casualties to that fact that as many as 200,000 state officials and volunteers were deployed to facilitate traffic and road safety during the seven-day period. He also noted that the provinces of Nakhon Phanom and Singburi did not have any fatalities from road accidents during the travel period.