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New Year road toll hits targets

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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New Year road toll hits targets | Thaiger

PHUKET: Three people died and 32 people were injured in 35 reported accidents from December 28 to January 3, nearly matching the government’s target road toll for the “seven days of danger” holiday period.

The Phuket Provincial Road Safety Center for New Year’s 2007 had set a target of three dead and 39 injured in 35 accidents.

The figures were released this morning at Phuket Provincial Hall at the official closing of the holiday road safety center. Chairing the event was Phuket Governor Niran Kalayanamit, who said all agencies involved had done their best to keep road carnage below the specified targets in Phuket.

The police effort to keep vehicular mayhem in check once again involved setting up police checkpoints, the locations of which vary little from year to year and are well known to most of the island’s motorists.

According to officials, 53,286 vehicles were stopped, with 2,389 people fined or prosecuted for one or more infractions.

The number of road safety infractions were listed as follows:

– Failure to wear a helmet: 632 cases from 7,669 vehicles checked;

– Operating a vehicle without a license: 1,316 cases from 19,226 vehicles checked;

– Driving a motorbike in an unsafe condition: 86 cases from 5,805 bikes checked;

– Failure to wear a seat belt: 285 cases from 7,081 cars checked;

– Drunk driving: 70 cases from 9,860 vehicles checked.

Not a single case of speeding was reported, although officers checked 3,645 vehicles as they passed through the checkpoints.

Thirty of the reported accidents during the period involved motorbikes. Gov Niran said that it is difficult to prevent motorbike accidents because more than 300,000 are registered in the province, which has a registered population of about 290,000.

“I will step up traffic control measures to help reduce the number accidents further the next time this project runs, over Songkran [Thai new year],” he said.

Pol Maj Teerawat Leamsuwan of the Phuket City Traffic Police Division, told the Gazette that checks during the same period failed to find any metered taxis carrying fares with their meters turned off.

The checks follow provincial road transport authorities announcing on December 29 that there had been complaints about drivers of metered taxis operating from the airport refusing to turn on their meters in order to negotiate higher fares.

Traffic Police will continue to check meter taxis at the main checkpoints still in operation, he said.

Nationwide, 449 people died and 4,943 were injured in from 4,456 road accidents over the holidays. Figures in all three categories exceeded last year’s New Year road toll.

Khon Kaen, Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai recorded the most accidents, while Bangkok and Prachuap Khiri Khan had the most deaths, both with 18.

Six provinces had no recorded deaths: Chai Nat, Mae Hong Son, Yasothorn, Lamphun, Samut Songkhram and Ang Thong.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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