New Year Death Toll Drops as More People Head for Temples

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BANGKOK, Jan 2  — Road casualties during New Year holidays declined because more people spent their New Year transitional period at temples, according to authorities.

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Deputy Interior Minister Songsak Thongsri said that on Jan 1 there were 547 traffic accidents in which 55 people were killed and 577 others were injured. The most common cause was ‘drink driving’ that was involved in 39.31% of all the accidents. Speed driving caused 28.34% and was the second most common cause. Motorcycles were in 79.35% of the accidents.

The highest number of accidents, 32, happened in Songkhla. The southern province also showed the highest number of injured people, 35. The highest number of dead victims, 4, was reported in Ratchaburi and UdonThani provinces.

From Dec 27 to Jan 1, there were 3,076 traffic accidents, 317 deaths and 3,160 injured people. Songkhla topped the injury number with 100 victims and showed the highest accident incidents of 95. The biggest provincial death toll of 14 happened in Bangkok.

There was not a road death toll in seven provinces namely Trat, Phayao, Phuket, Mae Hong Son, Yala, Lamphun and Satun.

Mr Songsak said the overall New Year death toll was lower than the figure of the same period last year. He attributed it to the strict enforcement of traffic rules and active road safety campaigns.

Besides, he said, more people spent their New Year transitional period at Buddhist temples. As many as 22 million people visited temples during the period, up by 1 million people from last year. The deputy interior minister said he did not think they would drink alcohol. (TNA)