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Thread: Songkran public holiday changed
05-04-06, 10:12 PM #1
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Songkran public holiday changed
Songkran public holiday changed
Bangkok Post, 5th April 2006
April 19 replaces Mon 17 due to Senate polls
The government has cancelled the Monday, April 17 holiday that it earlier declared as part of the Songkran long weekend. The holidays were earlier set for April 13 to 17 with April 17 marked in lieu of the Songkran Day holiday that falls on Saturday 15. However, the cabinet yesterday moved the holiday from Monday 17 to Wednesday 19 instead to allow people to vote in the Senate election.
''The government will give people a day off on April 19 to allow them to cast their votes,'' said caretaker government spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee.
The cabinet yesterday also ordered tolls to be waived for motorists on the Bangkok-Rayong motorway and the city's Bangkok-Bang Pa-in-Bang Phli outer ring road.
The waiver would be from April 11 at 4 pm until April 17 at 12 am.
Dr Surapong said outbound traffic was usually heavily congested close to the suburbs where there are traffic bottle-necks as vehicles approach toll booths.
Meanwhile, the National Road Safety Centre targets to cut the number of road accident victims during the Songkran festival from last year's toll.
Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief Anucha Mokavej said the agency anticipated the number of injuries would decline from 16,395 to 6,194, while the death toll was expected to fall from 522 to 506.
''We normally put on extra surveillance during the '10 dangerous days', when traffic rules will be strictly imposed to prevent road accidents. The accident monitoring centre will be set up at the department for emergency response,'' said Mr Anucha, also the centre's secretary.
The '10 dangerous days' are from April 7 to 16, with April 13 _ Songkran day _ normally the deadliest with the highest number of road accidents.
Last year, almost 80 deaths and 2,817 injuries were reported on April 13 alone.
He said the road accident prevention plan would be adjusted during the long-holiday period to ensure it suited the situation. State officials and traffic volunteers would be on standby around the clock at 3,009 checkpoints nationwide.
Motorists would be required to undergo breathalyser tests. The checkpoints would provide special services to ease motorists' stress, including refreshments, first-aid treatment and car repair services.
According to a survey by the Abac Poll last month, almost 29% of 1,268 respondents said they drove after drinking alcohol.
Udomsil Srisangnam, vice-chairman of the ThaiHealth Promotion Foundation, said setting up alcohol checkpoints and banning the sale of alcohol at petrol stations were the most effective measures in preventing road accidents.
Prommin Kantiya, of the Accident Reduction Network, said over 4,000 young volunteers and more than 500 disabled people who were victims of road accidents would be at the checkpoints to encourage motorists to drive safely.
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