Thailand: Road accidents claim 278 lives during Songkran festival hinh anh 1At a celebration of the Songkran festival in Thailand. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) - There were 1,917 traffic accidents in Thailand, killing 278 people and injuring1,869 others, during the seven days of the government's road safety campaign for the Songkran festival from April 11 to 17, Nirat Pongsitthithaworn, the country’s deputy interior permanent secretary, said on April 18.

Chiang Rai province saw the most accidents at 66. Chiang Mai had the highest number of injured people at 63 and Bangkok logged the biggest death toll at 13. Six provinces - Nakhon Phanom, Pattani, Yala, Ranong, Samut Sakhon and Sing Buri were free of road fatalities, Nirat told local media.

Boontham Lertsukkheekasem, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said the number of accidents and injured people had declined but road deaths rose from the same period last year.

Statistics show that during the Songkran festival in 2021, Thailand recorded a total of 2,365 traffic accidents, claiming 277 lives and injuring 2,357 people. Speeding was the biggest cause of accidents (32.01 percent), followed by drunk driving (28.29 percent) and cutting lanes (18.27 percent).
Motorcycles were involved in 86.01 percent of the accidents, followed by trucks (6.17 percent) and cars (2.76 percent).

Before this year's Songkran holiday, Thailand has set a goal for each province to reduce the number of accidents, deaths and injuries from traffic accidents by at least 5 percent compared to the average rate during the festival over the past three years.

To this end, Thailand has mobilised around 80,000 police officers on duty across the country during the Songkran festival, with a focus on traffic management, road accident reduction and crime suppression. An operation centre to prevent and reduce traffic accidents during the Songkran Traditional New Year, especially the "7 Dangerous Days" peak, has also been established.

Thailand has one of the countries with the highest rates of road accident deaths in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with nearly 33 percent./.