Thai New Year’s Traffic Festival

When I was young, the radio listed the national traffic deaths over the most traditional holidays.

Being patriotic the America scored the highest fatalities on the 4th of July.

New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day came never close.

These announcements were designed to warn the public about the dangers of driving drunk and thanks to last decades’ draconian DMI-laws holiday tragedies have been reduced to a sad footnote.

I personally thought that passing a law to have a drunk driving hour would have been more appropriate.


Only the inebriated behind the wheel in a mad demo derby of boozers.

My letter to Presidents Bush and Obama on this matter were returned ADDRESS UNKNOWN.

Thailand on the other hand seems to revel in the idea.

New Year 2014 has been a week-long festival and reported that Thailand kicked off the first day of traffic mayhem with 39 people were killed and 399 others injured in road accidents.

The Thai Road Safety Center blamed most of the fatalities and injuries on drunkenness with drunken speeding coming in second and drunken speeding while texting won the bronze medal.

Police were out in force to collect revenue for their own Sawadee Phii Mai celebrations and issued over a 100,000 citations. Fines usually average about 200 baht earning the Boys in Brown a cool twenty million baht ($600,000US).

Traffic was a nightmare throughout the Land of Snarls with a six miles impasse in Sa Kaew created by a truck piling into ten cars.

Coming as no surprise the trucker fled the scene of the accident.

Drunk drivers have been treated with leniency throughout the New Year.

Breathalyzers are new to Thailand and the police let the driver go after drinking a lot of water to lower the alcohol content in his blood. Serious offenders are arrested on the spot. This lenient policy was enacted since there are only 114 breathalyzers for all Thailand.

This weekend it was not unusual to spot motorcycle drivers with beer bottles in their hand, which is almost as dangerous as talking on the cellphone while driving, the main cause of accidents in the 21st Century. 

Drive safe or stay at home.

The odds of a car crashing into your house are small, but not impossible.

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