By Jittraporn Senwong
He was speaking after attending a meeting of government authorities tasked with preparing for the New Year’s Festival over the holiday. Prawit Wongsuwon, deputy premier and defence minister, chaired the meeting.
After the meeting, the participants recommended that the government make it a national agenda to reduce road accidents over the holiday period.
Kongcheep said the officials discussed the large number of lives lost in road accidents annually during the festival and year-round. About 22,000 people died and more than a million were injured in road-related accidents last year.
“During the past decade, a large number of people were killed on the road. Most deaths happened at night and the most common causes were recklessness, not respecting traffic laws and drunk driving,” said Kongcheep. “Many people ignored warnings for them to wear helmets and to buckle up that would help them in an accident.
“When there is a road accident, those involved will be tested for their alcohol level,” he warned.
A fund will be created to reward people who record videos or take photos of others violating laws that help lead to the arrest of offenders, he said.
Kongcheep said security authorities are trained and prepared to deal with any security and safety issues that arise during the festival.
“We agree that there is an opportunity for possible violence during the period, so we will make our best efforts to provide security for the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, intelligence authorities will intensify their information-gathering efforts concerning matters of security and drugs-related activities.
Security officials will focus on crowded transportation locations such as public bus terminals, Skytrain and railway stations and airports, he said.