Thailand’s ‘7 dangerous days’ road toll rises to 218, with 66 deaths on New Year’s Day
Road accidents on Sunday claimed 66 lives, bringing the total death toll in the first four of the so-called “7 dangerous days” to 218, the Road Safety Centre announced on Monday.
Boontham Lertsukhikasem, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department and secretary-general of the centre, told the press that 478 road accidents had occurred on New Year’s Day on Sunday, in which 465 people were injured and 66 killed.
The centre has been monitoring road accidents since December 29 and will keep a close eye on roads until January 4, when the New Year break wraps up.
The centre has been holding a daily press conference to provide updates on road casualties to remind travellers to be more careful.
Here is what happened on Thai roads on Sunday:
Top causes of accidents
• Speeding: 37.03%
• Drunk driving: 33.26%
Vehicle type with the most accidents
• Motorcycles: 88.02%
Where most accidents took place
• Straight roads: 79.50%
Location of most accidents
• Highways: 38.49%
• Village roads: 32.22%
Time of most accidents
• 00.01-01.00: 15.69%
Age-range of most casualties
• 20-29: 23.54%
Boontham said relevant agencies have taken steps to reduce road accidents. On Sunday, a total of 55,851 officials were deployed to man 1,887 road checkpoints nationwide.
On Sunday alone, 401,164 vehicles were stopped, and legal action was taken against 59,862 motorists and motorcyclists.
Of those facing legal action, 16,696 will be charged for driving without a licence, 16,070 for riding motorbikes without a helmet and 7,109 for breaking the speed limit among others.
Songkhla had the highest number of road accidents with 27 recorded on Sunday and has the highest number of injuries at 31.
Meanwhile, Mae Hong Son, Sa Kaew, and Surat Thani had the highest number of deaths at four each on Sunday.
Boontham said the total number of road accidents in the first four days came in at 1,664, with 1,647 people injured and 218 killed.
Over the past four days, Surat Thani has had the highest number of road accidents with 56, Sakon Nakhon the highest number of injured victims at 57 and Chiang Rai the highest number of road deaths at 12.
Boontham said the centre expects thousands of people to drive back on Monday, the last day of the official holidays, so it has instructed provincial authorities to coordinate and monitor the traffic – especially on alternate routes.
He said motorists usually speed on alternative roads because the traffic is generally lighter.
The centre has also advised motorists to take a break from driving every hour or so and stop driving if they feel tired or sleepy.
Boontham added that officials will stop vehicles often to check the physical state of drivers.