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Holiday starts with 39 road deaths, 362 injured

Traffic accidents caused 39 deaths, with 362 other people injured, on Wednesday, the start of the New Year holiday road safety campaign.

Boontham Lertsukekasem, director-general of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, said on Thursday that the toll resulted from 362 road accidents.

The most common causes were speeding (34.6% of all accidents) and drink-driving (23.80%), with motorcycles involved in 81.3% of the accidents, he said.

Ratchaburi province recorded the most accidents, 13, Nakhon Ratchasima had the highest death toll, 5, and Loei reported the most injured people, 14.

At 1,875 checkpoints, 62,932 people were ticketed for traffic violations – including 18,142 motorcyclists for not wearing a crash helmet, 7,939 for failing to fasten vehicle seat belts and 5,007 for unsafe motorcycles.

Mr Boontham said the New Year exodus of workers heading to home provinces started on Wednesday, with traffic heavy on main highways, inter-regional routes and bypasses.

Witthawan Soonthornkhajit, director-general of the Probation Department, said that on Wednesday courts ordered probation in 142 cases of driving under the influence of drugs, 108 drink-driving cases and five for reckless driving.

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