BANGKOK — Interior Minister Gen. Anupong Paochinda on Tuesday denied that this year’s apparent rise in road fatalities during Songkran were caused by a lack of police diligence at traffic checkpoints.
Striking a defensive posture after the body count seemed set to surge despite widespread public awareness campaigns and vows of stricter alcohol control measures, the minister insisted police did their utmost to ensure safety during the long holiday.
After six of the so-called “seven dangerous days,” 378 people have already died on the road, with 3,575 injured. With one more day still to be counted, the figure was on track to top the previous year’s tally of 390 killed.
The interior minister added that the law alone cannot solve fatal road accidents and more effort needs to be put on raising public awareness about safe driving.
Anupong said the mass media should shoulder more responsibility by making citizens responsible members of society.