Despite non-stop campaigning by the government and road safety advocacy organisations since 2011 to get motorcyclists and pillion riders to wear crash helmets, only 45% of motorcycle users wear them.
According to findings by the Thai Roads Foundation and Road Safety Watch network, under the sponsorship of the Thai Health Promotion Foundation (Thai Health), Thai motorcyclists are among the worst in ASEAN for disregarding both the law and their own safety.
Dr. Werapan Supanchaimart, vice chairman of Thai Health, said at a seminar today that the Thai Roads Foundation and Road Safety Watch network had been studying the helmet wearing behaviour of both motorcyclists and pillion riders for nine years by gauging the opinions of more than 1.5 million of them across the country in urban and rural areas.
The findings show that the number of people wearing crash helmets does not vary much from year to year.
52% of motorcyclists and 22% of pillion riders wear crash helmets, or an average of 45% of all bike riders, said Mr. Natthapong Boontob, director of the Thai Roads Foundation.
Survey results for the past three years show Chiang Mai has the highest rate of crash helmet users in the northern region, at 53%. 59% in Nonthaburi for the central and eastern regions and 61% Phuket for the southern region.
The provinces with the highest improvement are Nong Bua Lamphu in the NE, 66%, Phrae province in the North, 69%, Rayong in central and eastern provinces at 56% and Nakhon Si Thammarat in the South, 75%.
Age wise, 48% of adult cyclists and pillion riders wear crash helmets, compared to 22% for the youth and 8% for children.
As far as Bangkok is concerned, 85% of motorcyclists wear helmets and the number of pillion riders wearing them jumped from 39% in 2017 to 55% in 2018.