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Posted 2010-12-14 06:55:17
New helmet laws introduced as fatality rate soars
By Pongphon Sarnsamak
Public Health Ministry regions across the country yesterday were declared compulsory helmet-wearing zones to promote safety and reduce fatalities caused by motorcycle accidents, said Deputy Minister Pannasiri Kullanartsiri.
The move is aimed at promoting the Decade of Action for Road Safety - from 2011 to 2020 - after reports indicated 11,000 people were killed in road accidents last year.
About 6,000 of these fatalities were motorcycle riders not wearing helmets to protect themselves from brain injuries.
Pannasiri said the ministry had set a 50-per-cent target to reduce the injury and fatality rate from road accidents by 2020. Encouraging motorcycle riders and passengers to wear helmets was the most important action to reduce this casualty rate.
All government office areas nationwide should be designated as compulsory helmet-wearing zones, he said. According to Public Health Ministry records in 2009, 11,751 people - or about 30 per day - were killed in road accidents. About 6,000 of these cases were motorcyclists.
The record also showed that more than 700,000 people were taken to hospital with motorcycle injuries, leaving the government with a Bt2-billion annual medical bill for their care.
Half this expenditure went towards patients suffering from head injuries.
-- The Nation 2010-12-14
Posted 2010-12-14 08:00:28
Why the need for helmet wearing zones when it has been law for years that you have to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike?
Posted 2010-12-14 08:10:28
or why have very low helmet safety standards? defeats the whole purpose of a helmet.
I do not think any of the helmets sold in Thailand would pass even i safety regulation in Oz and few other countries.
I mean having a salad bowl on your head, hardly will protect your head, if anything will cause even more damage
Posted 2010-12-14 08:15:57
And kids riding bikes to school? I didn't realise it was legal to cram 3 kids 12 year olds with no helmets onto bikes.
Once again Thailand misses the point of the problem. The government can insist that their employees or school children wear certain coloured shirts on certain days of the week, but enforcing that people wear helmets to and from their place of work is beyond abilities of persuasion.
Edited by Thai at Heart, 2010-12-14 08:17:49.
Posted 2010-12-14 08:22:13
<"All government office areas nationwide should be designated as compulsory helmet-wearing zones, he said.">
I think that he is already brain dead. Why would you need to wear a helmet when in a government area but not need one at other times? Stupid!!. I think they could be really in trouble if Thai men ever realized that the way to get a fast and happy divorce would be to take the wife out for a little drive. He would of course be following the law and wearing his helmet and she of course would not because it was legally required. One little tumble and home free to start again.
But really if this ever catches on and everybody wears helmets and therefore not dies then it will critically cut into the income stream for the monks. They get paid for the funeral services.
Posted 2010-12-14 08:25:09
Agree - the system is itself at fault. There was an ad campaign in Australia years ago that simply said - "If you have a $10 head wear a $10 helmet - if not - wear a Shoei". This was a good campaign. Helmet laws are for self protection and to ignore it is arrogant and stupidity, the same as the fools with orange shirts and motorbike taxis, who wear a helmet on the back of their heads - and many never even do up the plastic 'brain buckets' they DO wear!
But this will only evolve into more BiB receiving payoffs and thus most likely will help make them fatter but possibly get the right result. So I guess it will work. But as to quality of helmets, none of them would survive a crash test here. Time to introduce standards and ban cheap killers.
But then they can start addressing 4 on a motorbike whose brakes let alone suspension, is 'sus' - even one up! But I do feel for the 'village people' whose only mode of transport is a bike and that is all they can afford but in the city? No way. Especially when the motobikes are being controlled by school kids, underaged, and with no road sense whatsoever.
Posted 2010-12-14 08:28:21
What a joke, compulsory helmet zones!!!!! When a helmet is actually worn, it's one made of plastic. If the government is really serious about the issue, make it compulsory to wear helmets all the time by everyone on the bike. Setup a minimum standard for helmet quality, and educate Thai's that a motorbike was designed for a capacity of 2 max. Not an entire family of 5.
Posted 2010-12-14 08:40:42
Just another fell good statement by the government that means nothing.
Posted 2010-12-14 08:49:41
I watched in horror on Sunday......Busy city street......5 young kids on a m/bike, shorts and t shirts, none with helmets. The driver couldnt possibly have been 10 years old.
Where are the responsible parents? Its tthe parents that are at fault..... for not setting rules and examples, educating their kids. How did the kids get the keys of the bike??
Posted 2010-12-14 08:56:28
Why not start teaching the youngster at schools and uni's the type of head injuries that you get from not wearing a helmet show slide/ photo's of accidents,and try to hit home to them about over loading the passengers / sitting side saddle. And let the police book more students for breaking the law, if they can't pay the fine make the parents pay or take the motocy off them.Let the police book them any day of the week not just certain days when they are short of money.
Posted 2010-12-14 09:01:45
where are we? America? UK? Australia? no in the LOS.
agree with "gotlost". the fact that the government feel good policy statements will keep coming and encourage us to discuss amongst ourselves whilst the government take no hide nor heed to the many intelligent comments that come out of the forum.
i reckon the statement only came out because the hospitals are having to pay an average sum of 2857 baht per accident victim.
Posted 2010-12-14 09:03:04
The Bib are way too busy to act on this law.
Maybe they should make it just on Wednesdays or something.
Yes, I think it's Wednesday mornings when you have to wear a helmet in my town.
You can't really call them helmets anyway. My 4 year old nephews "Power Ranger" hat looks more sturdy than some of the head wear I see on the roads...
Posted 2010-12-14 09:11:16
^ Excactly,lets start with forcing government officials-read policemen-wearing a helmet,then start enforcing the students comply with traffic laws at least when they exit the school where a policeman is present every day.
When you go take a look at any school exit there will be a policeman present but NOT ONE student leaving on a motorbike is wearing a helmet,many even under the legal age for riding a bike.As another poster already pointed out,they can make them wear any colour of shirt on any particular day,but making them wear a helmet is impossible.
Can't use the correct words for this kind of behaviour as it would make this post disappear.
Posted 2010-12-14 09:11:47
There are helmets available that meet international safety standards but most are priced well out of the average Thai's budget.
As for this new law, what a fookin joke, I would like to see the stats of helmetless people killed within government zones versus those killed outside of government zones.
Posted 2010-12-14 09:53:17
I was under the impression there were helmet laws already... enforcement, or lack thereof, is the problem...
Posted 2010-12-14 09:54:07
You guys bitch about having more then 2 on bikes and helmet quality, you go pay for an extra bike or car and a nice helmet for a poor thai family then. They don't even have mosquetto nets or shutters and any toilets in the NE let alone these luxuarys.
Edited by metisdead, 2010-12-14 11:58:06.
Posted 2010-12-14 09:58:24
agree with you Spoonman, But all a load of bUllocks--Zones ?---should read all areas. police. fines--should go to government, Schools involvement. But the FAMILIES fine the parents---it will stop the kids. kids on bikes--(is there an age limit) not that I can see. Where is the motor bike test-TUITION, JUST go to schools--YES YOU POLICE--if you have time--i know you are very busy--JOKE. how many bikes are parked at schools --average age of riders---9 --to 16 years. subsidise good quality helmets---you.ll save on hospital bills...........These government officials are a complete JOKE. only a nutter could come up with their suggestions-on many topics.
Posted 2010-12-14 10:05:03
If you can afford a motorbike for 20k baht (used), you can also afford a helmet for 200 baht. Which, despite being a little piece of plastic and foam, will be way better than nothing.
Edited by metisdead, 2010-12-14 11:58:33.
Posted 2010-12-14 10:24:24
I meant the average helmets sold everywhere even in Carrefour or Big C.
Posted 2010-12-14 10:25:18
The Ministries' actions should be applauded. Maybe they'll be encouraged to do more.
I don't think enforcement will work. The income structure of many police makes it un-economic. A lot of riders in rural areas and school kids haven't got a couple of hundred baht in their pocket to pay for the warning.
Getting the kids to wear helmets is worth a shot. Doubt adults will change. School has got to be the ideal place for this. Show them pics and statistics. Find a brain damaged survivor and have this person visit the school. Explain what this victims life was like before and after. Subsidise decent helmets through schools - reckon it'd be cheaper than taking care of them in hospital. Get Thai 'superstars' to promote. Educate. They're doing it well with anti-smoking programmes.
Doesn't help when they see the police not wearing helmets. Maybe trying to get the cops to be role-models (pushing it?) and also speaking at schools.
Sure I'm not alone in seeing the horrible consequences of bike accidents in Thailand. The choice not to wear helmet and other protective gear can turn the most minor of bingles into a fatality. Head injuries are not cool. I knew a lovely Thai boy of around 18 who was riding pillion in BKK. Both drunk, no helmets, through a red light and in front of a bus. They weren't lucky. The families went to the temple. The monk explained that there was a ghost at this intersection who wanted the boys to join him. Maybe, but what a wasted opportunity to use his reverred position to preach helmets etc. The monk may never have worn a helmet - another role-model? Guess it's going to take a generation or 2.
Quality helmets are available in LOS. They have a standards certification. Unfortunately they cost a months salary for the average Thai scooter rider.
Hope they don't sit on this initiative. Get after it guys.
Edited by andrew55, 2010-12-14 10:29:26.
Posted 2010-12-14 10:26:29
Told the misses several times but she still put her helmet in the bucket.
IT WILL RUIN MY HAIR......
Posted 2010-12-14 10:26:44
some foolish comments in here, don't you guys know the pavements and road ways are made of marshmallow outside government zones negating the need for a helmet.
Actually i was in Krabi last week and went past a sign stating this particular area was a 'helmet zone'
Posted 2010-12-14 10:28:22
So poverty is an excuse for not following the law is it??
Most families own helmets, but choose not to wear them. Fairly sure that some of those poor NE families you talk of have enough cash for dads beer as and when he wants it.
Question of priorities. getting smashed or brain smashed in??
If familiies can't afford helmets then clearly there is a need that requires a solution. Perhaps the government could make helmets freely available when a bike is bought then no one has any excuses.
Posted 2010-12-14 10:37:01
The police always had a helmet policy,but night time was alittle easier.they always have a police stop to catch them for extra funds when needed.The thais just paid the fine and carried on,no helmet needed.I have seen mothers taking kids to school no helmet on any person,just pay a fine,or be lucky and not be caught.Bringing this new rule in will change little to some.Unless the fine is higher then, they may wear a helmet.the other comments about bad helmets is very true.we can only wait and see if it works
Posted 2010-12-14 10:45:39
I just came back from a few days in rural Cambodia. Guess what? Most people wear helmets, and farmers in Cambodia are certainly not richer than those in Thailand. Another thing that struck me was that most kids walked or used bicycles to school. In Thailand, not even the poorest farmer would risk the physical damage to her children as a result of walking a few hundred meters to the local learning institution.
The laziness in this country is beyond description sometimes.
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