Chiang Mai tops Songkran accident, injury toll

Vehicles head back to Bangkok on the Asian Highway in Manorom district of Chai Nat on Tuesday. (Photo by Chudet Seehawong)

Chiang Mai is the province with the highest number of road accidents and injuries over the Songkran holiday period so far, as authorities set up additional roadside checkpoints to monitor holidaymakers as they return to Bangkok after the break.

The northern province recorded 104 accidents from Thursday to Monday, the latest figures released by the Road Safety Directing Center on Tuesday. Chiang Mai surpassed Nakhon Si Thammarat for accumulated total accidents.

It also moved above the southern province in the number of injuries over the period, with 104 people hurt.

Udon Thani continued to record the highest number of deaths, 14, after sharing that position with Nakhon Ratchasima up to Sunday.

Thousand of vehicles crammed onto Thai roads on Tuesday as holidaymakers made their way back to their jobs in Bangkok.

Public health permanent secretary Sukhum Kanchanaphimai said on Tuesday that more makeshift checkpoints have been installed on main and secondary roads, with buses and pickup trucks carrying passengers on the back their main target.

"The additional checkpoints will make them slow down and let authorities check their standard of driving," the official said. Authorities will clamp down on speeding drivers, drink-drivers, and those not wearing safety belts, he added.

Driving under the influence of alcohol was the main cause of accidents, which happened the most between 4pm and 8pm, according to the centre.

Most private offices, including banks and the stock market, will open on Wednesday, while government agencies enjoy another day off and will open on Thursday.

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