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336 killed in Thai New Year road accidents

According to the interior ministry, traffic accidents kill 336 people and injure 3,984 in Thailand over the New Year holiday.

world Updated: Jan 02, 2008 14:55 IST

Traffic accidents killed 336 people and injured 3,984 in Thailand over the New Year holiday, one of the most dangerous times to be on the kingdom's roads, the interior ministry said .

Fatalities during the December 29 to January 1 holiday period were down about four per cent from last year, while the number of injuries rose slightly, the ministry's disaster prevention bureau said in a statement.

Drunk driving caused 42 per cent of the incidents, the ministry said, while speeding, reckless driving and motorcycle drivers not wearing helmets were blamed for the rest.

The highest number of deaths occurred on December 30, when 85 people were killed, while 84 percent of all accidents over the New Year period involved motorcycles.

Throughout December, police and government officials had waged a campaign against drunk drivers, with officials -- often dressed in eye-catching costumes -- handing out cautionary leaflets on motorways.

Thais are among the world's heaviest drinkers. A health ministry study found that per capita, Thais consumed 41.