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Songkran road death toll totals five – or six

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Songkran road death toll totals five – or six | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Road accidents claimed the lives of five people in the province during Songkran. Or six, depending on how one counts.

Officially, five people died on the roads between April 7 and April 16, officers from the Phuket Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM) said at a press conference this morning.

This was two higher than last year’s figure and one more than the government’s “target” of no more than four fatalities.

This year’s dead were listed as: Ulai Netrapakdee, 33; Mhad Manabutra, 67; Korchem Naoyiem, 57; Somyot Choochart, 28; and Angkarn Chanthong, 28. All were male and were either driving a motorcycle or riding one as a passenger.

However, as reported in the Gazette Online on April 11, K. Ulai had a woman riding on the back of his motorbike when it was hit by a pickup truck. Both he and his passenger died.

The identity of the dead woman, registered as an employee of the My Friend bar in Pa Khlok under the name Wannipa Siri-ariya-osot, could not be confirmed. Officials think she may have been Burmese. Because she could not be identified, her death was not included in the official toll, an ODPM staffer explained.

In contrast to the higher death toll, there was a huge decrease in the number of road accidents reported, from 397 in 2005 to just 99 this year.

However, these reported accidents resulted in 96 people requiring in-patient hospital treatment for their injuries, also greatly in excess of the government target of no more than 53. Last year 90 people required in-patient treatment.

Police stopped a total of 48,900 drivers, with 81 people charged for drunk driving, 2,419 for driving without a license, 254 for not wearing a seatbelt, 780 for not wearing a helmet, 29 for dangerous driving, and 963 people were stopped for speeding, but none were charged.

There were no accidents associated with the Phuket Bike Week activities this year, officials added.

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