Raod Safety in Thailand
Police have said around 144 people have been killed in the first three days of the Songkran festival vacation period with another 1,680 people injured in several road traffic accidents in the three days leading up to the Songkran festival at the weekend.
There were more than 1,560 road accidents and the amount of road casualties has far exceeded the totals for last year where 116 had died from injuries sustained in road accidents. The worst-hit region was Phichit with eight people meeting their deaths on its road systems. Nakhon Si Thammarat was the region suffering the most injuries at 86 persons. It also had the unenviable statistic of highest amount of road accidents with 81 recorded mishaps.
Police chiefs held a conference on Saturday announcing that although road traffic accidents had increased, four provinces were being held in high esteem as there were no recorded accidents at all in the regions of, Yasothon, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu and Chaiyaphum.
However Friday was a particularly brutal day for the driving community in Thailand. The Songkran festival was beginning to get under way and drivers were speeding and many had been drinking. On that one day alone, 56 people lost their lives and a further 780 were injured in a total of nearly 750 accidents. Police said drink-driving and speeding were the result of the accidents in most cases.
On Friday, police made almost 200 arrests after finding drivers had consumed above the legal driving limit. All of the arrests had been targeted specifically at the under 20s. Statistics concur that 42 percent of all the accidents that occurred in Friday were down to drink-drivers. Police have also promised to track down those who sold alcohol to the under 20s and prosecute them along with the young offenders.
While drunk-driving was the number one cause for the unusually high death toll on Thailand’s roads, speeding came in second with around 21 percent of all accidents resulting from drivers exceeding the city speed limits. It comes as little surprise that the bulk of all accidents came from motorcycles and the majority of these where motorcyclists were on a straight stretch of road. Around one-third of all the road traffic accident victims were youths.
Police had set up 2,450 checkpoints across Thailand in order to test drivers randomly for drink or drug consumption.
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