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The chief of Thailand’s highways has laid the blame for accidents firmly at the door of speeding drivers.
Somchai Kaosamran was speaking ahead of this year’s Songkran celebrations when the focus in Thailand falls on road accidents, reported Daily News.
He said that 85% of accidents were caused by driving at too high speeds.
After this the next biggest problems were people who fell asleep at the wheel and then drivers who cut in front without giving enough room.
Both these were responsible for roughly the same amount of accidents. These two were factors in about half of the total of accidents.
After this the main problems were drink driving and going against traffic flow.
He said that statistics show that at normal times most accidents involve cars but at Songkran this changes to pick-ups being at the top of the list followed by cars then motorcycles, Daily News reported.
“Speed is the main problem,” he said. “If people slowed down that would reduce accidents greatly”. He also pointed to other problems like the state of the road surface, lighting and weather that drivers must be focused on.
He said that repairs to roads were constantly carried out and that there were warnings at black spots but what was needed most were two things:
“First and foremost we need the public to drive according to the law. And we need the law to be enforced,” he said.
He said that this year the military were being drafted in to help reduce accidents after the government issued orders. Soldiers will be on duty at selected areas near their bases during Songkran.
He said that in the period of March 9 -15 24,775 people were stopped for speeding. This rose to 27,584 for the period March 18-24.
He said that contrary to some people’s perceptions most accidents occur on straight stretches of road. Then comes bends and intersections.
The worst time for accidents is 12 noon until 4pm.
Somchai was speaking to Daily News who are working on a campaign with anti drink driving and other good driving foundations to help lower the accident rate at Songkran.