73 people were killed and 574 others were injured in 574 road accidents across Thailand on New Year’s Day, as drunk driving was blamed for most of the carnage, according to the latest update from the Centre for the Prevention and Reduction of Road Accidents.

Since the start of the long New Year holidays on December 29th, 1,906 road accidents have been recorded, resulting in 226 deaths and 1,894 people injured.

Speeding accounts for 35.15% of all the accidents, followed by drunk driving at 32.06% and poor visibility at 16.47%. Motorcycles account for 86.62% of the accidents, pickup trucks 5.8% and private sedans 3.71%. 19.51% of the accidents occurred between 9pm and midnight, 18.15% between 6pm and 9pm and 15.43% between 3am until 6am.

Chiang Mai recorded the highest number of accidents in the past four days at 74 and the highest number of injured at 70, but Bangkok claims the highest death toll at 14.

Boontham Lertsukheekasem, director-general of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, has warned motorists to drive carefully and to stop and take a rest as soon as they feel drowsy, as many are expected to head back to Bangkok and other cities after their break.

Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Police reported that, during the first three days of the long holidays, police have arrested 198,158 people for breaking traffic laws, including 7,391 cases of drunk driving.

Pol Gen Damrongsak Kittipraphat, the deputy national police chief, said that drunk driving cases this year have increased by 75% compared to the same period last year, adding that drunk drivers will be face the full force of the law.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service

By tladmin