BANGKOK — Drunk driving overtook speeding as the number one killer on Thai roads this Songkran, though total fatalities saw an 8 percent dip from last year.
During the annual “Seven Dangerous Days” from April 11 to 17, 3,338 road accidents resulted in 3,442 people injured and 386 dead, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation announced Thursday. Drunk driving and speeding were the foremost causes of accidents. These numbers exclude unreported accidents.
The proportion of accidents caused by drunk driving clocked in at 36.6 percent, followed by speeding at 28.3 percent. In 2018, when 418 people died during Songkran, speeding was the primary cause (accounting for 27.7 percent).
This year, the first day of Songkran saw the most deaths, 75, and accidents, 724.
Across the seven days, almost 80 percent of accidents involved motorcycles. At a little over 2,000 police checkpoints set up nationwide, more than 65,000 officers seized 7,282 vehicles and prosecuted a total of 210,883 people – largely for not wearing safety helmets (55,805 people) and not carrying a driving license (48,183 people).
The most deadly provinces were Lopburi and Udon Thani, where 15 people died respectively. Meanwhile, Nakhon Si Thammarat saw the highest number of people injured at 136. The province tied with Chiang Mai for having the highest number of accidents, 128.
Four provinces – Krabi, Phang Nago, Sukhothai, and Ang Thong – experienced no road deaths.
Prasan Mahaleetrakul, director of the Department of Probation, said Thursday that 480 drunk drivers have been punished with an electronic monitoring device and ordered by court not to leave home from 10pm to 4am for seven to 15 days. Other punishments include 24 hours of community service.