With the start of the new school year in Thailand, the focus is back again on student safety. One area that is a cause of concern is the journey to and from school. Many students arrive at school by motorcycle with their parents or a motorcycle taxi driver. Unfortunately, although the adults are wearing helmets, not so many of the children are protected. According to the Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center’s records, 7,836 children under 15 years old were killed in road accidents during 2000 – 2011. This is an average of 653 child per year. Many of these children died from head injuries.
It is a matter of urgency that schools and local administrations conduct publicity campaigns about the dangers of motorcycles. The BMA in Bangkok got off to a good start yesterday by distributing 120,000 motorcycle helmets. But a lot more needs to be done to educate the parents. In particular the ones that take babies and toddlers on motorcycles. When you have an accident on a motorcycle it is instinct to put out your hands to cushion the blow as you hit the ground. But what happens if that person has a baby in their hands? Sadly I’ve seen a few accidents like these. Most babies have no chance of survival.
Should parents who take babies and toddlers on motorcycles be charged with child abuse and neglect? Are the police turning a blind eye because they know that these families cannot afford to buy a car? What do you think?