About 300 people killed, 2,800 others injured in Songkran road accidents

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BANGKOK: Nearly 300 people have been killed and more than 2,800 others injured in road accidents during the Songkran festival throughout Thailand, an official said Tuesday.

Sukhum Kanchanaphimai, a director of the Road Safety Directing Center, said 297 people have been reportedly killed and 2,807 others injured in varied road accidents during the five-day peak of Songkran season from last Thursday to Monday.

The fatalities and injuries, compiled from the provinces by the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, involved a total of 2,702 road accidents, most of which have reportedly occurred in Chiang Mai.

Udon Thani has become the province with the highest fatality rate with 14 people reportedly killed during the Songkran festival so far while Chiang Mai has become the province with the highest injury rate with 104 people reportedly injured, according to the director of the Road Safety Directing Center.

Most road accidents have been reportedly caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol, accounting for 40.68 percent of all road accidents during the festive season, followed by speeding which accounted for 27.54 percent, he said. Motorcycles have been reported the type of vehicle involved in most of the road accidents, accounting for 78.85 percent.

A total of 235,838 motorists have been faced with varied charges of breaking the traffic rules, including 64,926 motorcyclists who had failed to wear crash helmets and 57,452 others who had failed to carry a driver's license.

A total of 2,040 major road checkpoints have been set up and a 65,308-strong personnel have been deployed nationwide under the seven-day Songkran road safety campaign launched from last Thursday until Wednesday. Xinhua