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A warning from Phuket City police comes the way of this family

Patong He(a)donists Face Helmet Crackdown

Saturday, July 3, 2010
Phuket Helmet Photo Album Above

KATHU and Patong, heartland of the helmet-free hedonist, will be the next target for Phuket's latest motorcycle safety campaign.

The change in thinking appears to be almost complete in Phuket City, although the real proof will come with July's road deaths and injuries statistics.

Police say that 90 percent of riders in Phuket City have now opted to wear helmets, and Phuketwan confirmed that figure at a police checkpoint in the island's capital today.

Two policemen signalled to passing motorcyclists to pull over if either the rider or pillion passengers were not wearing helmets. After years of leniency, the law is finally being enforced.

Mostly, riders now wear helmets. And the awareness campaign appears to have the vast majority of pillion passengers also wearing helmets, at least in Phuket City.

We watched a young girl, riding pillion with a helmet on her lap and possibly concerned about what it might do to her hairstyle, told in no uncertain terms to put the helmet on her head.

We watched families being told that they must all wear helmets, without exceptions or excuses.

Surprisingly, we saw many families in threes or more already wearing helmets.

Police were also asking to see licences, and holding those people who failed to produce them, or ownership papers.

Those who were not wearing helmets had their ID or licenses taken, and they will have to attend a safety video screening before getting them back.

From Tuesday, police have warned that they will no longer let people go with warnings. Heavy fines of 500 baht or 1000 baht can be expected.

The crackdown in Phuket City began with a big parade of 1600 motorcycles with 32000 riders and passengers, each wearing helmets, on July 1.

And from August, it will be the turn of Kathu police to enforce the law. The helmet-free denizens of Patong have been warned.

Phuketwan supports the Mothers or Motorcycles action group. (MoM). MoM seeks to improve road safety awareness and education and to increase the number of people who wear helmets on motorcycles.
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Comments

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I just returned from Phuket City and read your article.
Today I did see 2 police man waving hands to people they obviously did know well.

Those people - four of them - sitting on one motorbike driving fast and one person had a beer bottle in his hand. - NON did wear a helmet!

Police did not bother (or dare?) to stop them!
So much for the new law.

I fully agree that something needs to be done to enforce the helmet laws - AND OTHER LAWS! But I know well that we need another police force to do so.

Posted by Lilly on July 3, 2010 15:29

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> The crackdown in Phuket City began with
> a big parade of 1600 motorcycles with
> 32000 riders and passengers...

I wonder how 20 people fit on a bike ;-)

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on July 4, 2010 01:09

Editor Comment:

If they could juggle and build human pyramids, wouldn't it be marvellous? Now that would bring the tourists.


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