Thai cops offer hefty cash prizes for videos of worst traffic violations

As part of a road safety campaign, Thai Police are taking an alternative approach by offering cash prizes of 10,000 baht (£240) for the best – or worst – videos of traffic violations in the country, reported The Independent.

Thai Police began their annual seven-day New Year road safety campaign recently. The aim behind the campaign is to promote road safety in Thailand. Last year, 333 people died and 2,672 were injured in 2,707 road accidents across the country between December 29 and January 4.

On average, 22,000 people die each year in Thailand in road traffic accidents.
Launching the safety campaign, the national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas told reporters that about 7.3 million vehicles were expected to travel on the roads during the New Year period.

Kittiprapas added that the centre would manage the December 29 to January 4 road safety campaign, during which about 50,000 police would be deployed nationwide to strictly enforce traffic rules.

Police would strictly enforce speed limits and target drivers under the influence of alcohol and failure to use seat belts and helmets for motorcyclists, he said. Speeding and drink-driving were always the most common causes of traffic accidents in Thailand, the chief added.

During the seven-day campaign, police have asked people to submit videos of traffic violations. And then the authorities will select the seven best submissions — each “winner” would receive a 10,000-baht prize.

The campaign has also invited criticism on social media as some said that the initiative taken by the police will cause more harm as people will do deliberate stunts on the roads.
But Mark Ritchie, the executive director of Thailand’s International Sustainable Development Studies Institute told the Guardian that he could see the initiative being popular. “Thai culture values ‘sanuk’, or fun, so this is a pretty brilliant way to raise awareness.”