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Bonanza for crash helmet shops



Bonanza for crash helmet shops | Thaiger

PHUKET: Thanks to the police crackdown on the wearing of crash helmets on motorcycles, helmets have been moving off shop shelves almost as fast as passing motorbikes. But businesses surveyed by the Gazette today said that the popular buys have been cheap, low-quality models that provide little if any protection in a crash. The shops also said that, after an initial buying frenzy, sales have dropped off. Sunanta Suttamongkol, owner of Hub Aik shop on Phuket Road, told the Gazette that, thanks to widespread publicity, business was exceptional on the day that that police started their blitz. A standard crash helmet approved by the Thai Standards Institute costs at least 220 baht, and K. Sunanta said she usually recommended that customers buy it because of the increased safety. But, she said, most customers ignored this advice and bought the cheapest helmet, costing a mere 99 baht. She said this was because helmets are often stolen when left in baskets on bikes. On January 16, the first day of the blitz, she sold 73 helmets. In subsequent days the numbers slid steadily, to 50, then 43, 17, 11 and six helmets. Meanwhile, police continue to warn hundreds of riders at roadblocks most nights, and have been imposing fines of up to 200 baht on those caught without helmets during the day. In Phuket Town alone, police say they have fined 114 riders, and issued warnings to, and taken the names of, more than 800 others since the crackdown began nine days ago.


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