Songkran road toll: 45 dead, 557 injured on first day

BANGKOK (TNA): A total of 45 persons were killed and 557 injured in 477 road accidents nationwide yesterday, the first of “seven days of danger” in the annual Songkran water festival celebrating Thai New Year.

The accidents happened as people headed to their home provinces to celebrate the Songkran festival with family and friends.

Former Phuket Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi, now permanent secretary for Interior and a committee member of the government’s Road Safety Center, said that the toll exceeded that for the same period last year, when 435 highway accidents were reported, with 41 persons killed and 514 injured.

In yesterday’s tally, Prachuap Khiri Khan suffered the most, with five deaths reported, said K. Pongpayome.

The long holiday for Thai New Year starts today and ends next Wednesday.

Driving while intoxicated, followed by speeding and reckless driving, were listed by police as the main causes for yesterday’s accidents, which mainly involved motorcycles, K. Pongpayome said.

Police have set up 3,009 checkpoints throughout the country in a bid to reduce road accidents during the festival.

Phuket News

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