BANGKOK, 14th April 2017, – The Road Safety Directing Center has just released its road accident report for April 13th, the first day of the Songkran long holiday.
The report indicates that being under the influence of alcohol was the number one cause of accidents on that day, followed by speeding. Most of these accidents involved motorcycles on both highways, and small roads.
According to the report, the top three misdemeanors that put lives at risk on the first day of Songkran, were refusing to wear a safety helmet, being under the influence of alcohol and speeding. In some cases all three driving risks applied
So far 79 people have died bringing the total to thus far to 167 from a total of 1743 accidents and 1795 injuries.
The Road Safety Directing Center also pointed out that speeding and being under the influence of alcohol are the major causes of road accident mortality. Most roadway deaths involved motorcycles.
The center’s data revealed that the top five reasons for motorists and bike riders being prosecuted on the first day included refusing to wear a safety helmet, driving without a driver’s license, refusing to wear a safety belt, operating a vehicle recklessly and speeding.
The Interior Ministry earlier instructed provincial governors and district chiefs to make sure that celebration venues have enough parking spots and a parking service. The officials are to step up measures against accidents resulting from drinking and driving.
Meanwhile several provinces have been implementing strict safety measures, with a focus on preventing road accidents and drunk driving.
In Nakhon Si Thammarat province, Fourth Army soldiers and police officers were deployed to checkpoints along highway routes between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani province. Aside from screening for drunk drivers and contraband, the checkpoints also provided bathrooms, rest stops, and drinking water for road-weary travelers.
In Trat province, several tourists made their way to the islands of Ko Kut and Ko Mak. The islands have set up road and maritime safety centers. Officials have been deployed to harbors and piers to accommodate the increase in arrivals. The Trat provincial administration has ordered the strict enforcement of safety regulations for ferries and other passenger boats. All passengers must wear life vests for the duration of their trips at sea.
In the North, the Governor of Chiang Rai province joined police brass and military leaders on an inspection of checkpoints throughout the capital district, as well as the districts of Mae Chan and Mae Sai. The checkpoints must be manned 24 hours a day to provide a rapid response to any emergencies or accidents that may occur. Officials will also be screening for contraband, including illegal drugs.
In Sakon Nakhon province, police officers have been setting up checkpoints to ensure that traffic laws are strictly enforced. However, the checkpoints have also been handing out mangoes to passing motorists, a measure that has been warmly received by local travelers.