Heading out for St. Paddy’s day, I was cruising to the pub in the back of a taxi down Sukhumvit. Crossing an intersection, I first heard the screech of tires braking and as I looked up saw a car plow into an unsuspecting motorbike.
Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scene in Bangkok and all throughout Thailand. The country is notorious for having some of the most dangerous roads on the planet. Each year roughly 24 000 people die in fatal road accidents and hundreds of thousands more are injured. In the first two months of this year alone, more than 30 people have been killed each day in road accidents. Of these fatalities, 70 percent are from motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
However, the Ministry of Public Health is launching a unique campaign to crack down motorists who do not wear helmets. Those who are caught violating the helmet law will be required to perform community service at hospitals – giving care to patients who suffer from brain damage.
Many of the survivors of motorcycle crashes are often left disabled, either physically or mentally.
The Ministry of Public Health hopes that the community service punishment will show motorists the importance of abiding by road safety regulations.