Thailand’s Songkran road deaths decrease by 20% since last year

PHOTO: Wikimedia

Thailand’s Deputy Interior Minister says road deaths during Songkran have reduced by 20% compared to last year, during the first 4 days between April 11-17 (aka. Seven Deadly Days). The first 4days saw 1,195 road accidents, with 157 deaths, and 1,185 people injured. Last year there were 1,795 road accidents, with 192 people killed, and 1,818 injured, during the same 4 days.

Officials across the country have been ramping up road safety campaigns and protocols during Thailand’s infamous “Seven Deadly Days”. Last week, a police major general said drink drivers caught between April 11-17 would likely be jailed without suspension if convicted.

Phuket police set up 11 checkpoints around the island to catch anyone drunk driving or driving dangerously and to help anyone in need. Phuket Governor Narong Woonsiew’s goal for this year’s Songkran was to have zero casualties during the holiday.

Similar checkpoints are evident right around the country on the major roads carrying the most traffic.

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Yesterday, Deputy Interior Minister Nipon Bunyamanee called on drivers to take precautions.

“Motorists should cooperate by avoiding actions that could cause fatal accidents, such as driving while drunk, speeding and ignoring safety gear”.

Out of the 1,195 accidents Thailand saw in the first 4 days, speeding is still the main cause, with motorcyclists playing a major role. The second most common reason for the incidents is drink driving. Since the start of Songkran, Chiang Mai had the highest number of accidents at 44. Nakhon Si Thammarat had the highest combined injuries at 43, and Lampang has had the most deaths at 7.

Thai roads are among the world’s deadliest, with road accidents claiming 32.7 lives for every 100,000 people, or 25,000 per year on average. The vast majority of these fatalities are young men, under 25, who had been either drinking or speeding, or both.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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