Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt aimed to halve traffic-related deaths in the Bangkok area from 13 in 2022 to 6 people in 2023.
Chadchart along with Bangkok officials from various departments yesterday discussed safety measures for the upcoming Songkran Festival. He said this year’s Songkran measures would focus on the “Don’t drink and drive, don’t drive after drinking” campaign in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents caused by alcohol. One of the preventative measures is an alcohol sales ban in official Songkran activity areas.
“Although the number of accidents may not have been significant in Bangkok in previous years, there might be an increase this year because this year is the first year that all COVID-19 restrictions have been eased,” Chadchart said.
He was referring to the fact that for the first time since 2019 water splashing and water fights, as well as entertainment activities like concerts, parades, and festivals, would be allowed. In 2020 and 2021 Songkran was basically canceled entirely on a public scale and in 2022 only religious and traditional activities were allowed.
He went on to say that he will frequently remind the public of the zones with alcohol sale bans, such as the official City Hall Songkran festival. The Governor wants the Songkran festival to focus on cultural traditions rather than water fights, concerts, drinking and parties, although there isn’t an outright ban like the past three years.
The governor firmly pledged to cut the number of traffic-related deaths in Bangkok in half, or no more than six people, compared to 13 deaths last year.
TPN media notes this could be a tall order as borders are now fully reopen, tourists are pouring in, and with the entertainment side of Bangkok allowed for the first time in four years.