Cabinet sinks hopes for a long Songkran
Civil servants' hopes of a long Songkran vacation evaporated yesterday, when the Cabinet declared the national holiday would begin on April 13 and end on April 16.
Another national holiday is slated for April 19, the day of the Senate election.
After yesterday's regular Cabinet meeting, Government Spokesman Surapong Suebwonglee said it had also been agreed to waive tolls on Route 7, the Bangkok-Pattaya motorway, and Route 9, the Bangkok-Bang Pa In-Bang Pli motorway, from 4pm on April 11 to midnight on April 17.
The Transport Ministry proposed waiving the tolls to ease backlogs at collection booths.
Petrol stations across the country will also be allowed to open 24 hours a day from April 7-16.
Meanwhile, the government yesterday launched a road-safety campaign aimed at reducing alcohol-related road deaths during the Songkran festival.
Anucha Mokhawes, Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department chief and secretary to the National Road Safety Centre, said the campaign aimed to reduce Songkran road casualties by at least 15 per cent, which meant the injured should not exceed 6,194 and the death toll stay below 506.
A 10-day danger period was set from April 7 to 16 during which police will be particularly strict in enforcing traffic laws at some 3,000 checkpoints nationwide, 24 hours a day.