Road safety campaign spells disaster for Chiang Mai rescue services

A rescue service in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, is receiving the same “false alarm” phone call over and over again thanks to a controversial road safety campaign.

Thailand sees a surge in road accidents and road deaths every year between December 29 – January 4, gaining the nickname “Seven Days of Danger.” Road safety campaigns aim to remind motorists to take extra care on the roads during the holidays.

However, one campaign at a busy intersection in Chiang Mai’s Mueang district has been misunderstood by motorists and is stressing out rescue services.

A fake crash featuring two motorbikes and three scarecrows has been set up on the side of the road on the Chiang Mai – Phrao Road in between Ruam Chok and Fa Ham intersections.

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At first glance, the lifeless scarecrows – two tangled in the motorbike wreckage and one strewn across the grass – could easily be mistaken for badly injured or dead bodies.

Chiang Mai’s Maejo Rescue Service posted photos of the crash on Facebook with the caption…

Public announcement. This is not an accident. It is on the central reservation in between Ruam Chok and Fa Ham intersections. We have been notified about it countless times by phone.

The shock-factor campaign aims to remind motorists to keep vigilant and drive safely. But it seems more of a distraction than anything, with concerned motorists scrambling to call the rescue services to the scene to help the “victims.”

Although well-intended, the campaign is wasting the precious time of rescue services who are already under a mountain of pressure with the Seven Days of Danger.

Hopefully, no accidents do happen at the “crash” site, because if one does, it will take some convincing for the Maejo Rescue Service to come rushing to the scene.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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