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Holiday road death toll soars despite crackdown on offending drivers

Jan 04. 2017
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By The Nation

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Despite tougher action against law-breaking motorists, including the Army’s seizure of drunk drivers’ vehicles, the road toll during the New Year holiday remains higher compared to the previous year.

Six of the so-called seven dangerous days saw 426 deaths and 3,761 injuries in 3,579 road accidents – marking an across-the-board increase from 340 deaths and 3,216 injuries in 3,092 accidents over the same period last year – the Road Safety Directing Centre announced Wednesday.

Chon Buri suffered the highest number of fatalities at 33, said Lt General Teerawat Boonyawat, head of civil affairs of the National Council for Peace and Order. This included the 25 people killed in Monday’s horrific crash involving a passenger van and pickup truck.

Udon Thani reported the highest number of accidents with 146 incidents and the most injuries at 156. Only Mae Hong Son, Phang Nga, Yala, Ranong and Satun had no deaths, he said. 

Citing a report by the Transport Operation Centre, Teerawat said that since December 29 until yesterday, the number of cars on Bangkok roads reached 6.27 million, compared to 4.7 million during a normal period, which greatly increased the risk of accidents and casualties.

On Tuesday alone, 422 accidents led to 59 deaths and 419 injuries, he said. The main factors remain speeding, at 27 per cent, and drunk driving at 26 per cent while most accidents involved motorcycles (79 per cent) and occurred between 4pm and 8pm. Most victims (45 per cent) were of “working” age between 20 and 49, he added.

Officials at 2,047 checkpoints nabbed 110,704 law-breaking motorists, mostly for failing to present a driver’s licence (30,958) and not wearing a helmet (30,366). 


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