BANGKOK: -- Some 500,000 units of inner padding for helmets will be handed over to motorcycle drivers and passengers in Bangkok to boost road safety during the upcoming Songkran celebration.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau has instructed all police stations to distribute the padding to motorcyclists and passengers, especially those who take motorcycle taxis, in a move to encourage them to wear helmets as part of the safety campaign. The Road Accident Victims Protection Co will provide the padding.
Previous records show that most road fatalities involve motorcycle drivers and passengers who did not wear helmets.
Songkran Pakchokdee, director of the Anti-Alcohol Organisations Network, said the Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee was concerned that revellers who get drunk will ride motorcycles on secondary roads while going on errands to buy more booze. He said this caused many accidents.
"The committee is looking for ways to stop revellers from doing this, which will include a ban on the sale of alcohol during the Songkran holiday period." He said the ban should be enforced for all three days of the holiday, so drunken revellers do not go out on motorbikes to buy more alcohol.
The proposal for the ban will be submitted to the National Alcohol Beverage Policy Committee, which is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi, for final approval.
This is at least a small step in the right direction because the number of road deaths over this period is totally unacceptable.