Crash helmets seen as key to cutting Songkran road toll

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The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is trying to encourage the use of crash helmets as a way to reduce Songkran road casualties.

Motorcycle drivers and pillion passengers account for the biggest number of road-accident victims, particularly during long holidays when millions of people hit the roads.

Bangkok was selected by Bloomberg Philanthropies to join its Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) for five years starting in 2015 and has implemented a safety initiative under this programme.

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Ahead of Songkran, BMA has sought collaboration with various organisations under the theme “Driving carefully, be aware of traffic law”.

Deputy Bangkok Governor Pol General Chinatat Meesukh said: “According to road crashes statistics from the Songkran festival last year, the main causes of road deaths were from driver behaviours that do not follow traffic rules – namely excessive speed driving, not wearing a helmet, and drunk driving. Motorcycles are the vehicles that have the highest report of road crashes and deaths.”

According to the “Thailand Motorcycle Helmet Use Report 2016” by the ThaiRoads Foundation, the national helmet-wearing rate is 43 per cent. In Bangkok, it is 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, according to Royal Thai Police statistics, in 2016 there were 10,924 road traffic accidents caused by motorcycles in Bangkok – equal to 25 per cent of all motorcycle users in the capital.

The majority of road traffic fatalities are people aged 15-29. Traffic accidents are more likely to happen to of young drivers without driving licences.

The BMA’s traffic and transportation department said it plans to promote helmet-wearing to youngsters in vocational schools, who are likely to be motorcycle fans and use them as their main vehicle. A pilot project in the “100 per cent helmet” campaign will be implemented in six selected vocational schools in Bangkok. – TheNation



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