The number of road fatalities is lower so far during this year’s New Year holidays, but drunk driving and speeding remain the key contributing factors in crashes, accounting for most of the arrests made, Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda told reporters at Government House on Wednesday.
He said further measures would be discussed to reduce the loss of life stemming from these factors, and more analysis would be done on the most accident-prone highways and secondary roads and time periods.
“Agencies would then have to assess whether the new measures are sufficient to lower the death toll or whether even more measures are needed, such as promoting driver discipline or introducing harsher punishments,” General Anupong said.
“We have to assess the effectiveness of the measures one by one. I will try to do this as fast as possible so that we will be better prepared to handle the type of accidents that cause the most deaths year-round, not just in festive times.”
Anupong made the remarks before the Road Safety Centre had issued its report on the sixth of the so-called “seven dangerous days” of the New Year holidays.
Early on Wednesday, two people were killed and 14 others were injured when two pickup trucks collided in Muang Yasothon.
Pol Captain Prasert Lasak led police, rescue workers and soldiers to the scene on Chaeng Sanit Road in Tambon Du Thung after the report came in at 1.25am.
The driver of a white Chevrolet pickup, seriously injured and still trapped in the wreckage, had to be extricated with a mechanical device so he could be sent to Yasothon Hospital. He died on the way. His name has not been released.
The driver of the Mitsubishi pickup truck it stuck was also still inside the vehicle. She was identified as Panyakuan Lajit.
The body of a five-year-old boy was lying on the ground between the trucks.
Thirteen passengers were taken to hospital.
Yasothon-based senior military officer Colonel Chakatpong Hongthong, who witnessed the crash as he was driving home behind the Chevrolet, said the Mitsubishi suddenly crossed over from the oncoming lane.
Police expect charges to be filed.