Deputy PM wants rural road safety push for Songkran

PHOTO: Rescue workers retrieve the victims from the wreckage of a 2018 Songkran road incident - Bangkok Post

With Songkran and its infamous “7 dangerous days” rapidly approaching, the Interior Ministry has asked local authorities and administrations for effective measures to prevent road incidents. Last year, 386 people were killed on Thai roads during the deadly week .

Road incidents kill some 22,000 in Thailand every year, or about 65 deaths a day. But the Songkran festival’s “7 dangerous days” is a big part of the total.

Crashes also cause a high number of serious injuries, with losses amounting to about 10 million baht per case, Deputy Interior Minister Niphon Bunyamanee said yesterday.

“The high toll is largely caused by drunk driving and lack of safety precautions. Thailand has 500,000 kilometres of roads, but 400,000 are in rural areas. So I want more cooperation from local administrations in overseeing local roads, above all barring users who violate traffic laws. This could help cut the death toll significantly. Especially during festivals like Songkran when people celebrate by drinking.”

During Songkran last year the proportion of road accidents caused by drunk driving came in at 36.6%, followed by speeding at 28.3%. In 2018, when 418 died during Songkran, speeding was the primary cause (27.7%).

Across 2019’s “7 dangerous days,” nearly 80% of accidents involved motorcycles. At a little more than 2000 police checkpoints across the country, officers seized 7,282 vehicles and prosecuted a total of 210,883 people, largely for not wearing helmets (55,805) or driving without a license (48,183).

There are two periods each year when local media concentrate their attention on the number of road casualties: “Western” New Year, and Songkran, the Thai New Year. Both are prolonged holidays when the government makes sure everyone gets at least 5 days off, so that people can make family visits to their homes in rural areas.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Songkran News

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply


The Thaiger is Thailand's largest online portal for news, videos and information.

Leave a Reply