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Massive exodus of people from Bangkok by buses, private cars, trains and planes begins amid official safety campaign launch

As massive exodus of people working in Bangkok begins leaving the capital for family reunions in upcountry homes to celebrate the Thai traditional new year or Songkran, state agencies yesterday joined together to launch a campaign to ensure the people return homes safe and sound.

Among the campaign is the “No Drink Driving” or no alcohol drinking before and during driving. Yesterday the Ministry of Transport kicked off the anti-drink driving campaign to promote road safety as the long five-day festival holiday is to start tomorrow.

The campaign was jointly held by the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation, and the state-run Transport Company. Transport Minister Arkom Termpittayapaisith said the campaign is aimed at raising public awareness on road safety in a bid to reduce the number of casualties caused by driving under the influence of alcohol.

Drivers caught and charged for drink-driving is subject to one year imprisonment, a fine of 5,000- 20,000 baht, or both.

But he said in case the driver is a public transport employee, he or she will face dismissal.

Meanwhile at Mo Chit 2 bus terminal, throngs of passengers were reported today, and expected to continue until Friday April 13.

But the Transport Company assured that all passengers will be carried back homes to celebrate Singkran as sufficient buses have been prepared to cope up with the surge in passenger traffic this week.

The company said it will be offering extra services so that all passengers will be able to travel homes.

It said a total of 8,853 bus trips will be available on a daily basis, rising from the normal service frequency by 2,690 trips.

At the same time the State Railway of Thailand also said it expects the number of rail passengers to increase during the festival.

Therefore, extra cars will be added to all of its 242 trains, which will provide the service.

Another 20 special trains will also be available to cater to the peak demand on April 11-13 and April 15-17 when the number of passengers is expected to reach 120,000 per day.

For air passenger traffic during the festival time, Don Mueang International Airport’s general manager Suthirawat Suwannawat advised passengers to arrive at the airport earlier before departure, particularly during April 12-13.

The airport expects as many as 125,000 passengers per day on April 12 and 13, he said.

He said the number of flights at the airport has been increased to 880 from 850 per day, a 14.4% increase.

Thai PBS

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