Connect with us


Island View: Safety needs more than lip service

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The province has seen an alarming number of road accidents and deaths this month. While these incidents aren’t isolated or unusual, they got me thinking about what efforts were being made to alleviate the situation, which led me to think of the helmet safety campaign implemented in January this year.

The ‘one district, one road with 100 per cent helmets’ campaign was launched with much oomph. Many bikes were seized in the following months, the monthly tally was reported and all involved were congratulated. Since the Songkran holidays, however, the campaign has rarely been mentioned, until the new governor very recently put it back on the agenda for Phuket.

It’s not uncommon to see locals and foreigners careening through traffic jams on their motorbikes without wearing helmets and facing no consequences. Just the other day, I decided to put the campaign to the test. I left home without a helmet and ended up at a red light in Kathu. With a police box to my right and two officers to my left, I clenched my handlebars waiting for someone to write me up, escort me to a police station to watch videos of road accidents, force me to buy a 99 baht helmet, and pay a fine, as the campaign promised.

To my surprise (not really), nothing happened. The light turned green and the officers waved me through.

When the campaign was initiated, officials said that they didn’t want to set an ending date – it would continue until there were no helmet-related arrests. I was hoping this meant that were no helmetless riders on the island, not that no arrests were being made in that regard.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a skilled rider or not – if you’re not wearing a helmet you simply should not start your bike. It’s still dangerous, regardless of your level of (self-proclaimed) proficiency.

Many, perhaps foolishly, hold on to the hope that these campaigns might someday be more than just PR stunts. But perhaps these initiatives would better be laid to rest if officials want locals and foreigners to respect the country’s laws and administrators. Wasting precious time and resources on campaigns that fizzle in and fizzle out just won’t do anymore.

— Sukhsam Supachai


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism1 min ago

Alcohol ban predicted to damage Thailand’s reopening, reputation

Crime2 hours ago

Woman who cut safety rope of workers offers feeble excuse

Video2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Dirty gloves probe, Bocelli & Lisa, ASEAN fallout | October 27

Sponsored10 hours ago

Top 5 dental clinics by Dental Corporations PLC in Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Police seize Covid-19 antiviral drugs allegedly stolen by hospital manager

Thailand2 hours ago

Student dies after receiving second Covid-19 vaccine shot

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Foreign Ministry denies blocking Poland’s donation of vaccines

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

Travellers now exempt from quarantine advised to directly contact AQ hotels for refund

Crime3 hours ago

Legal proceedings expected this week for “Joe Ferrari” death in custody case

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 8,452 new cases; provincial totals

Bangkok4 hours ago

Police bust Bangkok pub serving alcohol, 61 arrested

Bangkok5 hours ago

Russell Crowe bids Bangkok goodbye after much-praised tweets

Thailand5 hours ago

Thai government forms panel to probe the export of used medical gloves

ASEAN5 hours ago

Myanmar no-show a focus as ASEAN summit gets underway

Drugs5 hours ago

Police arrest 3 vans in Korat with 1.82 tonnes of marijuana

Thailand5 hours ago

Sedatives and painkillers, Thai new year – 3 million USD on 2 people | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 47

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11