Police in eastern Thailand give helmets to riders caught without them

Photo by Naewna.

Police in one province in eastern Thailand is giving free helmets to motorcycle riders caught not wearing them. The deputy chief of Trat Provincial Police, along with a team of traffic police, started this new approach today. Instead of fining riders caught without helmets, the police passed out free helmets to riders passing by a school in the main city district.

Police chief Somchai Yusawat said this is part of a campaign to raise awareness on helmet safety, regardless of whether people are riding a short or long distance. The Trat Provincial Administrative Organisation has so far paid for at least 2,000 helmets to be distributed.

Somchai said he sympathised with many families who can’t afford to buy helmets due to the tough economy right now. He noted, however, that after riders have received their free helmet, they must wear it.

People receiving helmets have to scan a QR code and show that they are getting one for free, and are not being fined. If they are caught without a helmet for a second time, however, then they will have to pay a fine.

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Trat is not the only Thai province working to promote helmets. Last year, Phuket Police intensified the province’s “100% Wear a Helmet” campaign. Phuket Police planned to still fine riders caught without helmets, however, they would also then provide the riders with helmets after they had paid the fine.

In May, Thailand’s PM Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that the Thai government aims to cut the number of road deaths by almost two-thirds by 2027. Thailand has the ninth highest road death rate in the world, with 32.7 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organisation. Thailand’s target for 2027 is to cut this number to 12 people per 100,000. The so-called “Vision Zero” goal for 2050 is to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.

SOURCE: Naewna

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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