(1 January) At least 266 people have been killed in 2,355 road accidents which have occurred during the 5-day New Year vacation season, police said.
More than 2,500 people have also been injured by these accidents since the long vacation started on 27 December, according to the police statistics.
The statistics are recorded as part of the campaign for road safety. Roads connecting Bangkok with upcountry provinces and major tourist attractions are heavily congested during the holiday season, and they are notorious for numerous road accidents.
On 31 December alone, for instance, 537 accidents occurred in Thailand’s 77 provinces.
47.86% of the road accidents throughout the New Year season are reportedly caused by drunk driving, and a vast majority – 83.99% – of the accidents involved motorcycles.
Chiang Mai tops the list as the province that had witnessed the most accidents: at least 28 times on 31 December alone, which resulted in the highest number of injuries of 31 people.
In Buriram and Suphanburi, three people were reported death in each of the provinces, which is the highest on the New Year’s Eve.
The authorities have previously set up 2,254 checkpoints operated by 64,943 police officers and other related officials, which have inspected more than 685,000 vehicles.
So far, 30,664 people have been ticketed for their driving with no driving license, and 29,520 people punished for not wearing safety helmets.
Pol.Lt.Gen. Rueangsak Jaritek, Deputy Chief of the Royal Thai Police, praised 12 provinces that had not seen any deadly road accident at all, including Phayao, Mae Hong Son, Buengkan, Yasothon, Chanthaburi, Chainat, Trad, Nakhon Nayok, Samut Songkhram, Sing Buri, Pattani, Phang-nga.
Although the largest accumulative number of accidents occurred in Nakhon Sawan, 89 times, Nakhon Ratchasima ranks as the province that had witnessed most deaths and injuries.
ML. Panadda Ditsakul, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Interior Ministry, said that driving under the influence of alcohol is the most common cause of the road accident. He also urged the provincial authority to enforce the law strictly during 1–2 January in order to curb on DUI cases.
Police officials have been similarly encouraged to arrange check points on shortcut routes, dangerous routes, and U-turn points to avoid any possible accidents before the long holiday ends.
For comments, or corrections to this article please contact: [email protected]