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Hundreds of  Phuket schoolchildren join the parade, all wearing helmets

Phuket Makes a Headstart for Helmet Heaven

Thursday, July 1, 2010
Parade Photo Album Above

FIRST came the madness, then came the marvel. We are talking two-wheel Phuket style motorcycle madness here, the sort that kills and maims too many people.

Today came the marvel, and possibly the end of an era in which road deaths and life-changing injuries were simply accepted as the price to be paid for freedom to get from point A to point B on your own two wheels.

We saw something we never thought we'd see today - hundreds of boys from Phuket Technical College, all of them wearing helmets, and all riding in the right direction. Along with them rode hundreds of other students, two to a motorcycle, all wearing helmets, plus Phuket Harley Davidson riders and Phuket City mortorcycle taxi riders.

All told, police said, there were 1600 machines and 3200 riders and passengers, all wearing helmets.

Dignitaries and senior police made speeches, a helicopter circled overhead, the Thai media came out in force, and a policeman waved a chequered black and yellow flag to start proceedings.

The parade continued around Phuket City with 1600 motorcycles and a couple of loud-speaker vans and a strong message to motorcyclists: from now on you face a heavy fine of up to1000 baht if you do not wear a helmet.

The latest island fatality came just a day or so ago in Phuket City when a man forgot to kick up his motorcycle stand. Soon after he set out, the motorcycle hit the road . . . and so did his head. A helmet may have saved him.

We've seen the immediate aftermath of too many motorcycle crashes and more blood than we care to remember. Today was a day full of hope that we may not get too see too many more.

Certainly, it will take time. Certainly, it will take a concerted effort on the part of police, educators and local authorities. Certainly, young riders especially will only be convinced to ride safely with a great deal of persuasion.

But today, despite the rain, a bright new start began on Phuket's roads.

Phuketwan supports Mothers or Motorcycles (MoM) an action group that aims to reduce fatalities and injuries on Phuket's roads with greater use of helmets and broad safety education.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Does that mean that Police also have to wear helmets when driving motorbikes??

Or shall we still see these jokers with their soft hats riding motorbikes and show all children that helmets are not needed?

Posted by Karsten on July 1, 2010 16:01


I wonder how many of them have a valid driving license ? More lives would be saved if people knew how to drive in the first place!

Posted by pipper on July 1, 2010 16:43


Tomorrow will be back to "normal", no helmets, three kids on a bike etc.

Posted by Gerd on July 1, 2010 19:23


I know that some motorbikes, like Honda Click, will not start without the side stand being in the " UP " position. Maybe time to ask all manufactures to make this simple yet vital change.
Wow maybe a retro fit to all existing motorcycles ???
Remember the big tail light fitment from a few years back ?
Lets make the change together, safety first I say.
Ride within your limits and please be safe and careful.

Posted by Graham on July 1, 2010 20:06


Gerd, please get a slightly more positive take on life here. All parties concerned are really trying to make a difference.

If you want to negative, go ahead and become tomorrows news, ok?
Together we can all be strong and make a difference. Go on, give it a try ????

Posted by Graham on July 1, 2010 20:09


THANK YOU to all you great people that have a positive thought about this most important achievement. It amazes me, the constant negative comments.

Perhaps you people can come up with a better solution? Or how about you put yourself forward to go into the schools and teach
motorbike safety? I am sure you would be welcome.

Monica (Shane's Mum)
We support MoM.

Posted by Monica on July 1, 2010 21:07


Just tonight I saw a motorbike taking 4 (!) ladies to work in Bang La, and don't you dare to think about them wearing a helmet. Their hairstyling would have been ruined immediately.

Posted by Fritz Pinguin on July 2, 2010 02:28


Monica..I understand your desire to see this go effectively into action, but after living here as long as I have and witnessing how things work here and how laws are enforced, etc etc...I can't help but be skeptical about this new law and don't have much hope for it being enforced properly.

Thailand is not Europe or America...It runs on its own unique program. How can you expect this to work properly when its only enforced on a part-time basis and in a few select areas?

Posted by Headache on July 2, 2010 12:45

Editor Comment:

All the advances in road safety in Europe and America have been incremental. Why is it that Thailand's expat skeptics expect nothing to ever change, or overnight miracles?


To Editor: With regard to your comment about Thailand's expat skeptics. The following is an excerpt taken from an article written on the 21st Sept.1998

"Provincial authorities have vowed to strictly enforce the helmet law as part of a campaign to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths and injuries."

The helmet law's been in place for 15years, easy to see why there are skeptics. What's needed is a prolonged, sustained campaign island wide to really cement this law in.

Posted by Antz Pantz on July 2, 2010 18:38

Editor Comment:

Phuket's road safety has gradually improved, especially in the past five years. Songkran was once the riskiest time of year to be on Phuket's roads: now it has become one of the safest. Heavy annual road death tolls have been slashed. Authorities now fully understand the human and economic consequences of the thousands of injuries incurred each year. That awareness is now spreading to road users. You're right about what's needed - a prolonged, sustained campaign island-wide - and we shall see what the next few months bring. I do understand the skepticism, but even skeptics can be open to the possibility of progress when all the indications are positive. Some of us would prefer to look to the future, not the past.


Fritz- as far as I am aware Bangla is NOT in Phuket City, where this initiative is taking place. I suggest reading the article properly is a good place to start. I agree with Monica - some improvement is better than none. Trying to compare Thailand with Europe is ridiculous. As usual, scepticism takes priority over potential results, from the usual suspects.

Posted by Mister Ree on July 2, 2010 23:19


This is not going to be a miracle overnight, that all of sudden people are going to wear a helmet. But reality has comes in, the law has been there for 15 years, you say. I saw many people wearing helmets, even the mickey mouse ones. I would think these people would have not worn them before then.

So that law has already saved lives. As I said if you can't get it right the first time you have to go back to the start again. And especially getting into the schools, start young. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few months. The police play a mayor roll in this and a lot comes down to them.

I think also one way of getting people to wear a helmet, no bike will be sold unless a helmet is provided. The more people can suggest the better, send it to MoM.

Thank You
Monica (Shane's Mum)

Posted by monica on July 3, 2010 02:03


Monica most bikes are sold with a free helmet... as an incentive for people to buy the bikes.

Posted by Jamie on July 3, 2010 11:48


The authorities should consider to confiscate the motorbike for two weeks if people drive without helmets. That would change behavior faster.

In Europe we had a - much smaller - problem with riding a bicycle with or without helmet. Through education of little kid parents (Kindergarten) and on school kid level, together with action by providing cheap but good helmets from discount markets in association with a media awareness campaign, lead to success, that - after some years - nearly every bicycle rider is using a helmet. If you do not wear one - and worse your kids - you get the looks of other people. Even in school, kids are singled out by peers for being stupid not wearing a helmet.

First it started slow, gained some traction, and suddenly nearly everyone used them. Now even on baby scooters...

Posted by Lena on July 3, 2010 14:02


Sorry, I disagree with this campaign as it is a personal choice that should not be pushed upon others. Helmeting careless, speeding motorcycle drivers will only mute their vision and auditory senses, creating even worse drivers and more hazard.

Initiate young driver's education and enforce the existing traffic laws to lessen reckless driving if you want a real difference that isn't a PR stunt designed for maximum visibility.

Posted by Horse Doctor on July 12, 2010 10:11

Editor Comment:

You can disagree all you wish, just don't expect logical thinkers who care about the safety of people on the roads everywhere to go along with you. To claim that helmets are unsafe because they interfere with the vision and hearing of speeding riders is one of the most uncompelling arguments in the entire history of uncompelling arguments. Helmets not only save lives but also create awareness of the inherent dangers associated with motorcycle riding. Along with the introduction of compulsory seat belts, the compulsory wearing of helmets helps to protect the entire community from the reckless mavericks who only ever consider their own selfish selves.


Hey everyone, here is some food for thought.
I propose a new law to the law makers in Thailand, ban children under the age of two ( 2 ) years from riding on a motorcycle. I have seen three kids already dropped on there little bodies, after the driver has tried to take evasive action at speed and needing two hands on the handlebars, has dropped the child on the road.
Give the time to sink in to yer heads ?

Posted by Graham on July 13, 2010 12:38

Editor Comment:

How do the motorcycle-riding parents of newborns-to-toddlers then transport their children?


Hey Editor,
" How do the motorcycle-riding parents of newborns-to-toddlers then transport their children? "

Answer is, taa daa, BY taxi or bus, sorry not many around,or by tuk tuk. See the need now for a proper public transport system on this island for all people?

Posted by Graham on July 13, 2010 12:57


What you call illogical I call thinking outside the box.
I do not claim helmets are unsafe, only that unsafe drivers wearing them are even more emboldened to drive recklessly and now have their senses muted.

Educate not legislate. Yes, I wear a helmet always but it is my choice.

Posted by Horse Doctor on July 14, 2010 09:33

Wednesday March 21, 2018
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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