Thai agency turns to YouTube to promote helmets

The Asia Injury Prevention (AIP) Foundation has joined forces with Save the Children Fund to launch a minute-long clip on YouTube, campaigning for children to wear a helmet while on motorbikes.

The clip, part of the "Seven Per Cent Project", features local and foreign stars such as host John Winyu, actor Dom Hetrakul, Ukulele protege Sophicha "Gail" Angkawaimongkol as well as South Korean girl band "Crayon Pop".

It aims to boost the number of Thai children who wear helmets from 7 per cent to 60 per cent nationwide by 2017. As many as 1.3 million students travel to school by motorcycle.

Members of the public have also been invited to pledge their support for the campaign at The campaign has garnered 8,000 of the 20,000 signatures it is aiming for.

The list of people supporting the campaign will be handed to agencies such as the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) and Education Ministry early next year to promote road safety.

AIP Foundation country director Ratanawadee Hemnithi Winther said they were working with families, schools and communities to instil awareness of road safety, especially making helmets mandatory for children riding on motorbikes. She said the foundation hoped the BMA and Education Ministry would join the campaign in creating a road-safety culture in Bangkok, which would hopefully spread nationwide.

Thailand has the second highest number of road deaths, according to the World Health Organisation's latest report, with an average of 2,600 children killed and 72,000 injured in road accidents every year.