11 July 2024

Authorities are targeting retailers and convenience stores which sell alcohol to those under age with the threat of legal action, as the death toll for the first three days of the seven-day dangerous New Year travel period climbed to 159 on Sunday.

Blaming drunk driving for a majority of the road accidents, mostly involving motorcycles, Pol Lt-Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapat, assistant national police chief and spokesman of the Centre to Prevent and Reduce Road Accidents during the New Year’s Festival, said today that many of the drunk drivers involved in accidents were under 20, prompting the centre to order officials to tighten up on the sale of alcohol to youths and to take legal action against violators.

He also said officials have been told to enforce the use of safety belts in all cars and the wearing of crash helmets by those on motorcycles.

According to the centre, 47 people were killed and 560 others injured in 531 road accidents on Sunday.  31.83% of the accidents were blamed on drunk driving and 30.89% on speeding.  Motorcycles were involved in 80.55% of the accidents.

Over the past three days, a total of 216,804 traffic violators have been charged, including 58,550 cases of failing to wear crash helmets and 52,434 cases of driving without a license.

Bangkok had the highest death toll in three days with 10, including five fatalities on Sunday. The northern province of Lampang has the highest number of accidents at 48.  No deaths were reported in 21 provinces.

Interior deputy permanent secretary Pornpote Penpat noted that more accidents took place on secondary roads because there were New Year celebrations being held in rural communities.