Road accidents disable 5,000
BANGKOK: — Road accidents have disabled more than 5,000 people a year, killing one person every 20 minutes and injuring one every two minutes, especially during the New Year holiday break, according to a Thai Health Promotion Foundation (THPF) report released yesterday.
Around 12,000 have been killed and 100,000 disabled since official road-accident records began 20 years ago, said Supreeda Adullayanont, who was reading out the report at the Royal Plaza during a public-awareness campaign prior to the beginning of the five-day holiday break, which begins on Wednesday.
He said disabilities numbered about 5,000 a year and one-third of people who sustained injuries were below 20 years of age. The main reason for accidents is drunken driving. Despite popular belief that accidents mostly take place on curves and at intersections, records last year showed that most took place on straight road sections (54.75 per cent), with fewer on curves (19.64 per cent) and fewest at intersections (12.1 per cent).
The THPF is jointly campaigning to raise awareness of road safety during the holiday break with the Public Health Minister’s Accident Prevention Network and the Royal Thai Police.
As part of the campaign, free tuk-tuk and taxi-motorcycle rides are available between Mor Chit BTS station and bus terminal during the five-day period from Tuesday by 200 drivers with campaign stickers on their vehicles.
Free drinking water and cold towels will also be provided.
In Samut Prakan, more than 100 paramedics and 1,000 rescue workers are on stand-by around the clock throughout the week from December 30 to January 5.
They are supported by 30 rescue vehicles and 20 ambulances. Police and provincial public-safety officials said they hoped this would lessen this year’s casualties.