While the government frets over the Omicron variant, 333 people died in road traffic accidents during Thailand’s so-called “7 dangerous days” during the end-of-year holiday. The official figures, reported by Nation Thailand, were released by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. The department says there were 2,707 road traffic accidents reported between December 29 and January 4, with 2,672 people injured and 333 killed.
On Tuesday, the last of the 7 days, there were 209 road accidents, resulting in 21 deaths and 202 injuries. On the same day, 78,340 car and motorbike drivers were charged with violating traffic laws. Of those, 23,131 were not wearing a helmet, while 20,023 were driving without a licence.
The northern province of Chiang Mai reported the most accidents, at 96, while Bangkok had the highest death toll, at 22 fatalities. The highest number of injuries were in Chiang Mai and the western province of Kanchanaburi, which reported 93 each. There were only 9 provinces that reported no road deaths during the 7-day period: Trang, Nakhon Nayok, Pattani, Phang Nga, Yala, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Sukhothai, and Phrae.
According to the Nation Thailand report, speeding has been identified as the cause of over a third (34.45%) of accidents, with changing lanes causing 25.36%. Over 82% of accidents involved motorbikes and the majority happened between the hours of 6pm and 7pm.
Despite the shocking statistics, the DDPM says accidents and fatalities over the 7-day period were 18.9% lower than during the same period last year. According to the Nation Thailand report, Thailand had the dubious honour of recording one of the highest road death tolls in the world in 2016, at 32.7 people out of every 100,000. Meanwhile, the DDPM says it aims to reduce that to 12 people per 100,000 by 2027.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand