PHUKET: Phuket officials have declared that they want no more than three deaths, 34 accidents and 53 injuries during the Songkran holiday period from April 11 to 17.
Last year’s Songkran holidays, from April 7 to 16, and saw six deaths and 99 accidents, with 96 accident victims requiring hospital care.
A meeting to discuss the targets for this year’s Songkran was chaired by Phuket Vice-Governor Smith Palawatvichai at Phuket Provincial Hall on April 2.
Aroon Kerdsom, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM), said, “We have a set plan for driver safety during Songkran Festival. We will set three checkpoints each in three areas: Muang district, Thalang district and Kathu.”
He added that the Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office will be offering free car safety checkups through some 20 garages on the island until April 20 so that motorists can have their cars checked before taking to the roads during the Songkran holidays.
Participating garages will offer discounts of 15% to 20% off normal prices for any repairs needed, he added.
Chief Aroon said that for travelers who prefer to leave Phuket by bus, there will be an increased number of services during the holidays.
“For people traveling by bus, the Transport Co Ltd has 12 VIP buses, 10 air-conditioned buses and two standard buses standing by ready to provide extra services to other provinces. Each bus has been checked for safety as well.”
Suwalai Pinpradab, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Southern Region 4 office, said, “We expect Phuket will bring in about 800 million baht during the Songkran Festival because about 90% of flights and hotels are booked.”
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