348 die in Songkran road carnage
A total of 348 people were killed and 3,176 others wounded in 3,068 road accidents during the first six days of the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran, said the Road Safety Operations Centre (RSOC) on Wednesday.
Chiang Mai had the most accidents at 119 and Nakhon Si Thammarat had the most casualties at 126. Nakhon Ratchasima and Udon Thani shared the top spot for deaths with 15 each, Probation Department chief Prasarn Mahaleetrakul announced.
Only five provinces, Trang, Phang Nga, Mae Hong Son, Sukhothai and Angthong, reported no Songkran road deaths.
On Tuesday alone, there were 367 crashes claiming 42 lives and injuring 381 others. Speeding was blamed for 30 per cent of accidents and drink driving for 28 per cent.
On Tuesday, 65,375 officials and volunteers manning 2,040 checkpoints nationwide said they checked 1,048,847 vehicles, resulting in 239,295 motorists and motorcyclists being charged with traffic violations.
Most cases involved riding motorbikes without wearing a helmet with 64,829 incidents and failing to present a driver's licences, 57,087 cases.
Prasarn said the Thai courts had placed 8,642 alleged offenders in the probation system from April 11-16. He said 98 per cent or 8,481 of the cases involved drink driving followed by 150 cases of driving on drugs and 11 cases of reckless driving.
The most drink drivers were arrested in Maha Sarakham (596), Bangkok (480) and Nakhon Phanom (440), he added.
In a separate press conference, National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said that army, police and administrators had confiscated 6,435 vehicles (4,752 motorbikes and 1,683 cars and trucks) from drink drivers during April 11-16. Throughout this period, officers found 177,134 motorcyclists and 146,017 motorists violated traffic laws and prosecuted 131,674 motorcyclists and 91,499 motorists, she added.