317 killed, over 2,400 injured on Thai roads during New Year break
Another 25 people were killed and 253 injured in 241 traffic accidents on the last of the “7 dangerous days” for accidents on Thai roads, raising the total number of fatalities to 317, Interior Ministry deputy permanent secretary Chotnarin Kerdsom said on Thursday.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department’s Road Safety Centre has been working with other agencies to gather data on road accidents during the seven days which ended on January 4.
The center released the following data for January 4:
Main causes of accidents
• Speeding - 34.85%
• Getting cut off - 24.48%
Vehicle type involved in the most accidents
• Motorcycle - 80.24%
Type of road where accidents are most frequent
• Straight sections of roads - 85.06%
Location of most accidents
• Highways - 48.96%
• Village roads - 24.48%
Time of most accidents
• 4pm-5pm - 8.71%
Age range of most casualties
• 40-49 - 16.19%
Chotnarin said 55,749 officials were deployed at 1,880 road checkpoints countrywide on Wednesday and that they stopped 327,401 vehicles. Their checks resulted in legal action against 49,072 people.
Songkhla province had the highest number of road accidents on Wednesday: 13. Kanchanaburi had the highest number of injuries: 15. Chiang Rai, Roi-Et, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Udon Thani had the highest number of deaths: two each.
The seven dangerous days span December 29 to January 4.
Chotnarin said there were 2,440 road accidents in Thailand during the week and that they resulted in 2,437 injuries and 317 deaths.
Surat Thani had the highest number of road accidents, 79, during the week and Kanchanaburi had the highest number of injuries: 81.
Chiang Rai had the highest number of fatalities. Fifteen people were killed in road accidents in the northern province during the seven days.
Five of Thailand’s 77 provinces – Narathiwat, Bueng Kan, Phang Nga, Satun, and Sukhothai – did not report any deaths from road accidents, Chotnarin said.
He said that Thailand saw a decline in road accidents, injuries, and deaths compared to the last three years.
Drunk driving, speeding, and not using seat belts or helmets are the main causes of injuries and death, Chotnarin said.
Seventy percent of motorcycle-accident victims were not wearing helmets, he said.
The Road Safety Centre instructed provincial authorities to examine data on traffic accidents to develop new strategies to reduce road accidents, including stricter enforcement of laws and intensifying efforts to raise awareness about road safety.
Even though the New Year break has ended, every relevant agency will continue to educate the public about road safety, Chotnarin said.
Probation Department director-general Veerakit Hanparipan said on Thursday that 1,646 people were put under court-ordered probation on Wednesday due to violations of driving laws and regulations.
They comprised 1,575 people charged with drunk driving, 65 charged with driving under the influence of drugs, and six charged with careless driving. Drunk driving charges accounted for 95.69% of the total.
During the seven dangerous days, the Probation department reported 8,923 cases: 96.1% (8,567 cases) were for drunk driving, 3.75% (335 cases) were for driving under the influence of drugs, and 0.24% (21 cases) were for careless driving, Veerakit said.
The provinces with the highest number of drunk-driving cases were Roi-Et with 469, Samut Prakan with 388, and Nonthaburi with 358.
Veerakit said the number of drivers put on probation for drunk driving during the seven dangerous days rose this year. Last year, 7,868 drivers were placed on probation for drunk driving during the week, compared to 8,567 this year.
Probation for drunk drivers includes alcohol treatment and community service, Veerakit said.