During the Songkran Festival in Kanchanaburi, a popular celebration marked by joy and excitement, the revelry was overshadowed by a series of road accidents. From April 11-17, the seven-day period known for a campaign promoting safe driving, there were 2,203 road accidents reported, resulting in 264 deaths and 2,208 injuries.
On Monday, the last day of the safety campaign, Interior Deputy Permanent Secretary Chotenarin Kerdson stated that there were 183 accidents, 16 deaths, and 202 injuries. Among these incidents, speeding contributed to 45% of the accidents, while another 17% were caused by sudden lane switching.
Motorcycles were involved in a staggering 80% of these accidents, with about 46% taking place on highways and 30% on local tambon and village roads. A majority (83.6%) of accidents occurred on straight roads, with the most accident-prone period being from 3pm to 4pm, accounting for 9.3% of all incidents.
Kanchanaburi had the highest number of accidents and injuries, with 11 accidents and 13 injuries on record. Meanwhile, Chanthaburi, Nakhon Pathom, Nan, Ratchaburi, and Lamphun each had the highest number of deaths – two per province.
Across the country, 1,869 main road checkpoints were manned by 54,274 officials who stopped and examined 279,873 vehicles. Actions were taken against 39,611 traffic offenders, including 11,013 cases of driving without a license and 10,530 cases of drivers and riders not wearing a safety helmet. Chotenarin, who is chairman of the road accident prevention and reduction committee, reported the total accidents during the seven-day campaign that resulted in 264 deaths and 2,208 injuries.
The province with the highest number of accidents was Chiang Rai with 68 accidents. Bangkok saw the most accumulated deaths at 22, while Nakhon Si Thammarat had the most accumulated injuries with 70 people affected. Fortunately, Phatthalung and Phangnga provinces in the South remained free of fatal accidents during this period.
Boontham Lertsukhikasemsuk, Director-General of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, shared that during the seven-day campaign, the number of accidents and injuries was slightly higher than last year. However, there was a 5% decrease in road deaths. Incidents involving speeding were down by 1.5%, and drink-driving dropped by 3.26% compared to the previous year’s figures.
Compared to the past three-year average, the number of injured individuals decreased by 13%, and road fatalities were down 15%. The main causes of accidents continue to be speeding and drink-driving, while motorcycles were the most commonly involved type of vehicle. Most road fatalities and injuries were motorcycle riders who did not wear a crash helmet, emphasizing the need for greater awareness and stricter enforcement of safety measures.