The news follows Maj Gen Apisit Muangkasem, national Traffic Police commander, recently speaking to many Thai media outlets about which types of helmets are prohibited. The commander’s statements sparked an argument on the Thai PBS Facebook page about the topic, and whether or not helmets with tinted visors should be prohibited.
Lt Col Rungrit Rattanapagdee of the Phuket City Traffic Police spoke out this week in response to the discussion, confirming the official standards for helmets.
“There are three types of helmets in Thailand: half face, full face and open face. Every motorbike and motorcycle driver must use a helmet that meets Thai Industrial Standard (MorOrKor),” said Col Rungrit.
“Imported helmets are allowed. However, any sort of helmet with a tinted visor is illegal in Thailand, even if it meets international safety standards.”
Col Rungrit explained that police must be able to see a driver’s face at all times while on the roads.
“Helmets with tinted visors are likely to be used by people who are carrying out crimes, as police are not able to identify the face of the suspect if he or she is wearing this type of helmet.”
Col Rungrit insisted that everyone needed to obtain a legal helmet and wear it while driving a motorbike.
“Everyone should wear a helmet to protect their [sic] life. Most motorcyclists who die in road accidents are not wearing helmets,” he noted.
Anyone caught by police wearing a helmet with a tinted visor – or found to be riding without fastening the chin strap or not wearing a helmet at all – faces a fine of up to 500 baht, Col Rungrit explained.
Watcharin Chaiyanupong, from the Thai Industrial Standards Institute in Phuket, told the Phuket Gazette that shops found selling helmets that do not meet the Thai Industrial Standard could have their products seized.
“The sellers will first be asked to remove the helmets that do not meet the standards. If the shop is caught repeatedly for the same offence, we will seize all of the helmets,” Mr Watcharin said.
— Thanaphon Phromthong
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