The Accident Prevention Network is campaigning for an alcohol free Songkran. They say that the consumption of alcohol is a common cause of road accidents as well as violence over the Thai New year celebrations, a time when the nation should be celebrating.
Millions of people take part in festivities every ear and three recommended measures have been given by relevant organizations according to the network’s director Prommin Kantiya. These measures are zoning, no sitting idly and stop staying indifferent.
Zoning means that when an area is made an alcohol free zone for Songrkan a clear announcement should be posted and a work force should be established to enforce the ban. In addition officials and volunteers should be drafted in to enforce the ban. Famous areas for Songkran celebrations such as the Khao San Road should be declared alcohol free he said. Prommin went on to say that the ban on alcohol sales at petrol stations and along roads during the holiday break should be strictly enforced.
No sitting idly refers to the need for officials to actively man checkpoints, he explained, during Songrkan we have more than three thousand check points and service centers around the county, so we should make sure we get the best use out of them.
The stop staying indifferent section of the plan is to encourage all sectors of society to get involved. “Don’t wait for the government to handle this mission alone. The government has limited resources,” Prommin said.
He noted that for a safe and alcohol-free Songkran to occur, families should also play a role.
“Please teach your children to drive safely,” he said while warning against drunk driving and splashing water on vehicles. Road accidents kill more than 23,000 people in Thailand each year.
Visanu Srithawongse, of the Stop Drink Network, said that alcohol producers never give compensation to victims killed or injured by drunk drivers.
“We in fact have found out that alcohol businesses have enjoyed much brisker trade during Songkran festivals,” he said.
A survey by his network found that 78 per cent of 6,700 respondents want a ban on alcohol sales during festivals.
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