Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos presided over the event, held at Muang Phuket School just south of Chalong Circle in Rawai, which was the result of a joint effort by Rawai Municipality and three Rotary Clubs in Phuket: the Rotary Club of Andaman, the Rotary Club of Phuket and the Rotary Club of Patong Beach (RCoPB).
Attending the event were high school students, kindergarten students, private sector employees and municipality officers, including Rawai Municipality Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Preecha Jennarong.
The project saw 350 helmets given away to students from nine schools, including students at Muang Phuket School.
The funds were raised by the three Rotary Clubs, with the donation from the Rotary Club of Patong Beach raised through a memorial fundraiser in honour of Gary Moody, the club’s Vice President & President Elect who passed away in January. (See story here.)
The Rotary Club of Patong Beach raised some B95,000 for the project, RCoPB President Karen Eidsvik told The Phuket News this afternoon.
Rawai Municipality Palad Mr Preecha said at the event, “The government previously set the years 2002-2020 as a period of focus for road safety, having local authorities conduct measures and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of safety helmets.
“The government wants to increase the use of helmets by 20% in order to reduce the death rate from road accidents. To that end, we organised this event with support from Chalong police, Big C Patong and AP Honda,” he added.
Mayor Aroon provided statistics on road safety, comparing Phuket with the national average for the use of helmets.
“Statistics show that the national average for motorbike riders – driver or passenger – wearing a helmet, is 43.7% against 56.3% that don’t wear one.
“In Phuket, only 18% of motorbike riders always wear a helmet while 50% don’t wear one at all and 32% occasionally do.
“As an example, in Rawai between January and April of this year, seven people died from road accidents, three of whom were on a motorbike without a helmet,” the mayor said.