Songkran road deaths rise to 248

A traffic police officer reminds a biker to drive safely at a checkpoint on Mittaphab Highway in Muang district in Khon Kaen on Sunday. (Photo by Jakraphan Natanri)

Fifty-seven people were killed and 626 injured in 603 road accidents nationwide on Saturday, April 14, the fourth of the “seven dangerous days” during this year’s Songkran Festival, raising the road toll between April 11-14 to 248 deaths and 2,557 injuries.

The figures were revealed on Sunday by Public Health Ministry’s deputy permanent secretary Opas Karnkawinpong, chair of a committee for public relations on the prevention and reduction of road accidents during April 11-17.

Dr Opas said there were 603 road accidents throughout the country on April 14, killing 57 people and injuring another 626. The biggest cause of the accidents – 43.62% – was drink-driving, while another 25.70% were attributed to speeding. As usual, the majority of the accidents – 79.58% – involved motorcycles.

(Video YouTube/Ch3Thailand)

The highest number of accidents on Saturday – 34 – was recorded in Chiang Mai, which also reported the highest number of injured at 39. The highest number of deaths was nine in Nakhon Ratchasima.

The accumulated number of accidents during April 11-14 was 2,449, causing 248 deaths and 2,557 injured.

Eight provinces recorded no deaths: Yala, Ranong, Lop Buri, Satun, Samut Songkhram, Nong Khai, Nong Bua Lamphu and Ang Thong.

The highest number of accumulated accidents – 99 – was recorded in Chiang Mai, which also reported the highest number of accumulated injured – 109.  Nakhon Ratchasima had the highest number of accumulated deaths – 17. 

Dr Opas said that on Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, most of the accidents occurred on secondary roads linking districts.

In a separate press conference, Col Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), said that over the past four days police impounded 7,067 vehicles (5,019 motorcycles and 2,048 cars) for violating the alcohol ban, seized a total of 16,588 driving licences and took legal action against 82,598 drivers of motorcycles and 47,327 drivers of private vehicles and public transportation.

Col Sirichan said the NCPO was concerned about the Thai Meteorological Department’s forecast that there may be another round of summer storms on April 15-18 and the temperature may go up to 40 degrees Celcius in some areas.

According to the forecast, the summer storms would first hit the upper Northeast and the East, followed by the North and Central regions, including Bangkok.

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