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Police hope sour sweets will keep drivers alert

Packets of ''super sour'' lollies will be handed out to drivers during the Songkran festival to keep them from nodding off at the wheel.

Somchai Jitsa-ngob, head of highway police station 3, said the abbot of Wat Huay Mongkol in Hua Hin had donated 200,000 baht toward a campaign to reduce road accidents.

Highway police bought 140,000 packets of lollies with the money and they will be distributed to drivers from April 11-17.

The festival, which marks the traditional New Year, sees droves of revellers heading to their home provinces or popular holiday destinations to celebrate.

The holiday is notorious for the high number of road accidents, mostly due to drunk driving.

This year the Songkran holiday extends from April 13-17.

Pol Lt-Col Somchai said the lollies were especially sour and would ''wake drivers up instantly''.

On Saturday, 2,999 monks gathered at Wat Huay Mongkol to bless the lollies.

An accident prevention centre opened yesterday in Kaeng Khoi district of Saraburi.

Over Songkran, officers from the Land Transport and Highways departments stationed at a rest area on the main highway will breathalyse the drivers of inter-provincial buses, whose vehicles will also be checked for roadworthiness. Bangkok Post

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