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1st day of Songkran road safety campaign – 356 injuries, 25 deaths

Neill Fronde



PHOTO: Thailand's notorious traffic and hazardous road conditions

The Songkran road safety campaign is off to a moderate start with a reported 25 deaths and 356 injuries across Thailand on Saturday. The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department director-general reports that there were 348 road accidents in the country on the first day of the campaign.

Though the figures don’t sound like an achievement, they are actually a fair bit lower than the average road death toll each day in Thailand throughout the year. Officials say that the real rush back home for the annual holiday will probably be tomorrow.

About 83% of the accidents involved motorbikes, 7.5% involved pick-up trucks and 4% were with cars. The biggest percentage of incidents happened between 4 and 8 pm, with 28% of accidents occurring in the late afternoon and early evening. Around 20% of crashes were between 8 am and noon, and 17% between noon and 4 pm.

Speeding is the number one cause of traffic accidents, with 32% of incidents a result of people driving too fast. Sudden lane switches, regardless of speed, contributed to about 20% of crashes. Alcohol was another major contributing factor, with intoxicated drivers involved in 23% of accidents that were attributed to drink-driving.

Bangkok, Chon Buri and Chiang Mai saw 2 fatalities on the roads of each province, while Phatthalung province in Southern Thailand had 22 injuries from 20 traffic accidents, the most in any province in Thailand.

As part of the Songkran road safety campaign, 342,000 cars, trucks and motorbikes were stopped and inspected by over 60,000 officials across Thailand yesterday. There are 1.913 main road checkpoints set up throughout the entire country. More than 58,000 citations were handed out to drivers for many different infractions, notably over 16,000 drivers were caught without a license and nearly 15,000 people were violating Thailand’s helmet laws by riding without one.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 8:21 pm

    “Alcohol was another major contributing factor, with intoxicated drivers involved in 23% of accidents that were attributed to drink-driving.”

    So 77% of “accidents that were attributed to drink-driving” didn’t involve “intoxicated drivers” ?????

    How does that work ???555

  2. Avatar

    James R

    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9:15 pm

    The numbers are lower than usual as there are usually 65 deaths a day in Thailand on average over the year, many people must be staying at home.

    They should get tougher, in the UK if you do not have a licence and no insurance the vehicle is taken from you and in many cases destroyed, that might help people pass the driving test as I assume the people without the licence have not taken a test.

  3. Avatar


    Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    Check the southern of thailand, 1% of the population use the helmet…around 25% have a driver license…why the police not check them???

  4. Avatar

    Simon Small

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Where do you get that from, @quang?

    These figures and similar ones before show that around 5% of Thai drivers don’t have a licence, which seems about right – 1 in 20.

  5. Avatar

    toby andrews

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:11 am

    It amazes me to see, clearly, children driving motor bikes. Is there no minimum age?

  6. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Just another day in this amazing place.

  7. Avatar


    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    @James R., if you like your UK laws and policies, stay in the UK.

  8. Avatar

    James R

    Monday, April 12, 2021 at 11:18 pm


    I do usually stay in the Uk six months a year and six in Thailand.

    If you want the death toll in Thailand to increase then get on a bike for eight hours a day, no helmet and maybe you yourself can become a casualty.

    I prefer if the number of deaths decrease in Thailand as it is a wast of life, the numbers can be greatly reduced with a few easy fixes.

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Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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