Traffic Accidents Claim 33 Lives During Lao New Year Holiday

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Road accidents in Luang Prabang (Photo: Luang Prabang Rescue team)

During the Lao New Year holiday period from 11 to 17 April, the nation witnessed a total of 319 road traffic accidents, resulting in 33 fatalities, according to reports from the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security. While this marks a decrease in fatalities compared to the previous year’s figure of 35, concerns persist regarding road safety.

Most accidents were attributed to drunk driving, involving 567  vehicles and causing injuries to 594 individuals. Vientiane Province recorded the highest number of accidents, with 43 crashes resulting in five fatalities.

Other provinces with high accident numbers include Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang Province, where five and four fatalities occurred, respectively.

Authorities identified reckless driving, drunk driving, failure to wear helmets among motorbike riders, and speeding as the primary causes of accidents and injuries. These findings underscore the urgent need for enhanced road safety measures and public awareness campaigns.

Meanwhile, neighboring Thailand also faced its own road safety challenges during the Songkran holiday period. The Bangkok Post reported 243 fatalities and 1,837 injuries in 1,811 traffic accidents from 11 to April 16 April. Notably, motorcycles were involved in nearly 85 percent of these accidents, highlighting the vulnerability of two-wheeled vehicles on the road.

As both countries grapple with road safety issues, efforts to promote responsible driving behaviors and enforce traffic regulations are crucial in mitigating the risks posed by road traffic accidents during festive periods.