June 1, 2015
This April here in Chiang Mai, we welcomed the year 2558 BE with the usual water-soaked Songkran festivities. For most the Thai New Year is a time for celebration, but for an ever increasing number it now marks a period of mourning. Each year hundreds die on the roads during the “seven dangerous days” of Songkran. This year was no different. At least 364 people lost their lives, making Songkran 2015 the most deadly since 2009. These figures come as a blow to the military government, who recently stepped up their efforts to reduce traffic accidents for the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. Under the UN mandate Thailand must halve its road death rate by the year 2020. Considering the current average stands at 26,000 deaths per year, this is no short order.