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Songkran goes into full swing

Apr 14. 2014
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By The Nation

Death toll slightly lower than last year, with most accidents the result of drink driving

Some 161 people have been killed and 1,640 injured in 1,539 road accidents in the first three days of Songkran – with most accidents the result of drink driving, the Road Safety Centre reported yesterday. 

While the death toll was lower than last year by 13, the number of accidents and injuries rose by 93 and 114 respectively.
Nakhon Ratchasima had the most deaths (10), while Nakhon Si Thammarat had the most road accidents (64) and the most injuries (69). 
Chaiyaphum was the only province with no reports of crashes, while 13 provinces had no deaths – Mae Hong Son, Uthai Thani, Chaiyaphum, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Chai Nat, Nakhon Nayok, Phetchaburi, Lop Buri, Angthong, Narathiwat, Phang Nga and Yala.
On Sunday, 59 people were killed and 747 injured nationwide in 689 accidents. 
Drink driving remained the top factor behind accidents (42 per cent) followed by speeding (24 per cent). 
Most accidents involved motorcycles (76 per cent) and pick-up trucks (15 per cent). Over half (63 per cent) occurred on a straight stretch of road, with most taking place from 4pm to 8pm. 
Over half (53 per cent) of the victims were of working age.
Some 2,276 checkpoints nationwide have been manned by 66,571 officials. 
Some 685,803 vehicles have been stopped and 114,018 people arrested and fined for offences – most were motorcyclists who failed to wear a helmet (34,674 cases) and people who failed to present a driver’s licence (32,408 cases).
The Public Health Ministry reported that the accidents were more severe than last year, with 65 per cent of fatalities instant. 
The ministry’s emergency medical hotline 1669 has received 12,578 calls with medical units were sent out to 3,937 cases. 
The ministry found 522 violators of alcohol bans in inspections from Friday to Sunday – 330 of whom received warnings while 192 others face prosecution.
The most common offence with 113 cases was engaging in marketing activities for the sale of alcohol, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to Bt500,000.
That was followed by selling alcohol outside permitted times with 34 cases, punishable by up to two years in jail and/or a Bt4,000 fine.

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