Tuesday was the first of the “seven dangerous days” of the New Year period for Thailand’s roads and claimed 43 lives across the kingdom.
The Road Safety Directing Centre says there were 414 road accidents across the country on that day, with a further 438 people being injured.
Tuesday marked the start of the busy New Year period, with the exodus of many people from Bangkok expected to slow traffic flows.
Deputy national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas said the highest number of crash deaths were in Chon Buri, Buri Ram, Phitsanulok, Phetchabun and Udon Thai, which had three each.
Chiang Mai reported most injuries (17) and Maha Sarakham the most road accidents (15). The biggest causes of accidents were speeding and drink driving, said Pol Gen Kittiprapas.
Motorcycles topped vehicles most commonly seen in accidents, he said, adding that a total of 44,657 arrests had been made nationwide.
Of the 210 traffic offenders to have already appeared in court by Tuesday night, the most common charges were drink driving, driving under the influence of illicit drugs, reckless driving and driving without a licence.
Pol Gen Kittiprapas said traffic checkpoints were already up and running and in many provinces, these were also manned by healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
He added that a regulation had also been introduced banning or limiting lorries from using the roads over the New Year holidays.