Banning Baby Bikers: Kids told not to drive motorcycles

Kids driving motorcycles and scooters around Bangkok are so prevalent that The Child Safety Promotion and Injury Prevention Research Center has decided to create an anti-youth-motorcycling initiative designed to save lives and keep those younger than 15 years old from driving massive motorcycles on Bangkok’s dangerous and congested roadways.

It is illegal for anyone younger than 15 to drive a motorcycle in Bangkok but the law is not often enforced and parents may encourage their kids to drive locally, asking them to run to the store or pick up their younger siblings.

Yesterday was the official launch of the “Don’t Ride if you are under 15” campaign. It was launched at the Thai Health Office in Sathorn, reported Bangkok Post.

Adisak Plitapolkarnpim, center director, referenced research at the launch that noted that 58 percent of Thai 12 year olds know how to drive a motorcycle and that they, on average, learn at 10 or 11 years old from family members. Some reported being taught to drive as young as 7 years old.

Research was collected from 2,822 sixth grade students living in nine provinces.

Adisak went on to say that traffic accidents are the biggest killer of Thai children 10 to 14 years old and that, if they are able to curb the number of young teens driving motorcycles, it could cut those traffic deaths by as much as 40 percent.

The Accident Prevention Network says that 2,000 Thai youths lose their lives in traffic accidents annually.

He said that young teens lack enough knowledge of traffic laws to drive and that they don’t have fully developed decision-making powers that would help them on the road. He also noted that young teen motorcyclists are prone to drunk driving and failing to wear helmets.

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