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Phuket Opinion: It's time to protect our children

accidentsdeathpolicetransportThe Phuket News

Sunday 3 June 2018, 09:00AM


Many children no doubt learn bad habits from their parents as well as due to lax enforcement of road laws.

Many children no doubt learn bad habits from their parents as well as due to lax enforcement of road laws.

The recent death of a 12-year-old boy and injury of a 14-year-old boy in separate incidents highlights yet more of the glaring issues contributing to Phuket’s appalling road-safety record.

These two most recent instances involved young boys illegally riding motorcycles, as they were both too young to obtain a license, and colliding with large tour buses. These accidents represent a “perfect storm” of negligence resulting in devastating consequences.

First, these young boys should never have been riding motorcycles in the first place, so why were they? A fair proportion of responsibility must rest with the boys’ parents, who for whatever reason allowed their children to be in control of a motorbike. Where would young boys get the money to buy a motorbike?

Or if it was borrowed, then any adults that lent them the motorcycles must also shoulder a fair part of responsibility for the accident. That they were able to get their hands on a motorbike can be put down to the pervasive attitude that it is fine to ignore road laws because it’s unlikely that you will be caught or face any financial penalty for doing so.

Second, a share of the responsibility must be put on police and their lack of willingness to enforce road laws that encourages the widespread attitude that they are just silly rules that you needn’t pay attention to.

QSI International School Phuket

In any place that takes road laws seriously, these boys would have been stopped within minutes by police who could clearly have seen that they were too young to be riding.

Sadly this rarely, if ever, happens in Phuket and you just have to stand out the front of any school at the end of the day to see how common it is too see young children riding motorbikes, often with two or three of their friends along for the ride.

Third, some portion of the blame must be put on the government officials who have failed to provide adequate public transport to schools, making it all the more tempting for parents to let their children ride to school.

Teachers at government schools should also be directed to monitor students who ride to school without a license and report them to police, their parents or take whatever steps needed to stop it from happening.

It is time for parents, police, teachers, officials to uphold their responsibilities to the children they should be protecting from harm. It’s time to change attitudes, treat this issue seriously and take concrete steps to stop underage children from riding motorbikes.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 05 June 2018 - 09:32:58

Since moving to Thailand I have come to appreciate Darwin's Law.  One day not too far away, as resources dwindle, I'll cheer on the culling of those too stupid to protect their young. 

BenPendejo | 03 June 2018 - 23:01:06

This road carnage stems from a cultural disregard for laws, and is is supported by the police that, for whatever reason, refuse to do their jobs. Oh yeah, and let's throw in irresponsible and lazy parenting. We can all talk til we're blue in the face, but nothing is going to change. It just isn't a concern to Thai officials, the police, or Thai parents. Som nam na

DeKaaskopp | 03 June 2018 - 19:32:37

"Make a light cable car over the klongs".Hahaha! Yes, that would definitely solve the problem! Reminds me of those clowns who came up with the idea of a cable car Singapore style around Patong or a mountain gondola from Kathu to Patong! 

Kurt | 03 June 2018 - 14:53:16

The photo is great! Says it all. The way  they come and leave  schools, pass by police officers directing traffic at school gates. Pass by police stations. RTP officers ignoring all this.
We can't blame kids of that age for behavior what cause their death or disable them for life.
It is all because of their parents, school directors and RTP short sighted attitude.

Wilma | 03 June 2018 - 12:26:20

I wish and hope that officials will make an overall plan, aiming mainly for students:
- Teach students in the school about traffic law
- Make the road with separates lanes for motorbike, cars and walkers
- Police check at schools for license, helmets, motorbikes

An idea for a public traffic, make a light cable cars over the klongs (rivers) in Phuket town, will can reach must schools.

Fascinated | 03 June 2018 - 12:07:15

Your picture says it all. 

I was stopped at a set of lights yesterday and a bike pulled up with 4 on board, none of them in their teens or wearing helmets. It's just a big game to them until something happens. 

Cop was sat at the box and did nothing.

Asterix | 03 June 2018 - 10:46:26

Spending B39.406 billion for the light-rail project may not help local folks to go to work or students to go to school on daily life.

It would be better to use the money for a mass-transit system for the whole Phuket to reduce the number of motorcycles and cars on Phuket roads.

Too many people are killed or crippled for life by mismanagement about road transportation from decision-makers.

 

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