WITH the week-long Songkran festival officially over, authorities in Thailand have tallied the total number of road deaths at 442 people killed, the highest level recorded over the seven-day period since 2006.
Known as the seven most dangerous days of the Thai calendar year, road accidents between April 11 and 17 in this year’s festive season had seen 3,446 road accidents, with a ratio of 8 people injured for every one person killed.
Announcing the figures, the Road Safety Directing Center said the total number of fatalities and the 3,656 injured was a figure that was significantly higher compared to last year’s, which saw 364 people killed and another 3,559 injured.
Local reports say that the figures were between 20 and 30 percent higher compared to 2015. The Bangkok and Nakhon Rathcasima provinces were found to be the deadliest with 19 deaths each throughout the week.
According to Khaosod English, the highest amount killed on the road during the holiday was in 2006, when 485 people were killed.
This year, the prime cause of accidents was drunk driving, followed by speeding, while eight out of 10 injuries were sustained in accidents involving motorcycles.
The latest figure poses a headache to the government, which launched its road safety campaign in conjunction with the festive season.
The effort involved provincial and local administrators who were instructed to strengthen measures introduced by the National Council for Peace and Order aimed at clamping down on reckless driving, speeding, and drunk driving.