In the 1,188 accidents that were recorded, 2,053 vehicles were damaged and 1,739 people were injured. Property damage amounted to over 18 billion kip (some 2 million U.S. dollars), according to the Traffic Police Department of the Ministry of Public Security, local state-run daily Vientiane Times reported on Friday.
At least 30 percent of the accidents occurred as a result of drunk driving and excessive speed. Over 60 percent of accidents occurred on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with most taking place after 5:00 p.m. local time.
Laos has a high rate of road accidents compared to other countries in the region with motorbikes involved in 95 percent of all vehicular accidents and males making up 90 percent of the fatalities, according to Lao police.
The Traffic Police Department will take serious steps to cut the number of accidents this year and will enforce the law in an effort to curb dangerous driving. This will be backed up by continued road safety awareness programs in local communities, said the report.
In 2018, police intend to strictly enforce the law with regard to irresponsible road users, especially during the upcoming Lao New Year festivities in April, a police officer said. Police will continue to attempt to increase understanding of the traffic regulations among the motoring public in a bid to reduce the number of accidents.