Officials in Prachuap Khiri Khan have rolled out a number of road safety measures in a bid to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities during Songkran.
On Friday (April 8) Mr. Sathien Charoenyaen, Governor of Prachuap Province, presided over the opening of the provincial operation centre and the launch of the ‘new way of life, drive safely, no accidents’ road accident prevention campaign.
The campaign focuses on a number of measures aimed at boosting road safety between April 11-17, known in Thailand as ‘seven deadly days’.
Officials hope the measures will reduce the number of accidents on the road, improve driver safety minimizing the causes and primary risk behaviors that cause accidents, such as speeding, drinking and driving, not wearing a helmet and not wearing seat belts.
Despite similar measures being implemented in 2021, the province saw an increase in accidents, with the number of accidents and fatalities reported above the national target.
In 2021, the province officially recorded 41.09 deaths per 100,000 people, which was more than the 25.03 deaths per 100,000 population target outlined by the Thai government.
Last year, residents of Prachuap Khiri Khan accounted for 79.34 percent of the deaths, while people from other provinces made up 20.66 percent.
The leading causes of accidents were speeding (59.41 percent), cutting in front of another vehicle (21.78 percent), and falling asleep at the wheel (14.81 percent).
As is the case with road traffic accidents throughout the year in Thailand, most fatalities (73.16%) in the province during Songkran 2020 involved motorcycles, followed by pickup trucks (20%).
This year, provincial officials have set the target of less than 47 accidents, 48 injuries and 4 deaths.
Mr. Sathien urged relevant agencies to work together to improve road safety and reduce the number of accidents, deaths, and injuries.
Furthermore, he urged people to drive safely and be cautious to avoid the spread of COVID-19 by traveling back and forth to visit family and people traveling in different places.
In the event that the number of infections spike after Songkran, Mr. Sathien said all districts are required to prepare enough beds for patients in community isolation centers, or CIs, and field hospitals.
Government and public sector employees in the province were also urged to be cautious in order to protect themselves, and to conduct ATK checks before returning to work after the festival.
Meanwhile in Hua Hin, Mayor Nopporn Wutthikul, presided over a meeting of the Municipality Road Safety Operations Center committee where a number of preventative measures were confirmed.
Officials said a road safety service point (a tent) will be established at Hua Hin Soi 1 in Bo Fai and that zebra crossings in the district will be painted to make them more visible to drivers and pedestrians.
In addition, highway officials will close some of the area’s most dangerous u-turns.
The Sawang Hua Hin Thammasathan Foundation said it has prepared four ambulances and is providing a 24-hour service during Songkran.