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Thai police seize unsafe children's helmets

Thai police seize unsafe children's helmets

Thai authorities raided a factory that was producing substandard children's motorcycle helmets labeled with fake safety stickers, as part of a campaign to cut deaths ahead of the deadliest driving season of the year, police said Wednesday.
Police seized 1,000 helmets which carried the brand name "Guardner" and came in a variety of bright colors decorated with cartoon characters, said Col. Jak Pengsathorn of the Consumer Protection Police Division. The raid took place Monday at a factory in an industrial part of Bangkok.
"The helmets are made of thin recycled plastic that cannot withstand the force of any impact," he said. The factory owner, Somkiat Yensa-ard, was arrested and charged with producing products that do not meet government safety standards. He faces up to two years in prison.
The 140-baht ($4.70) helmets are sold in Thailand but are not believed to be exported, Jak said. They were found by a police team assigned to inspect helmets sold in Bangkok's outdoor markets. The helmets had safety labels from the Thai Industrial Standards Institute, but samples were sent to the institute which deemed them fakes, prompting the factory raid, Jak said.
The government has called 2011 the "Year of Road Safety" in the latest effort to reduce road deaths in a country where speed limits and helmet laws are widely ignored and police can often be paid off to overlook violations.
In 2009, 10,800 people died on Thailand's roads and 62,000 were injured. The deadliest time of year is Songkran, the Thai New Year celebrated in mid April, when masses of Thais head home for family celebrations and share the roads with drunken revelers. During the five-day Songkran holiday, thousands are injured and hundreds die in road accidents, mostly motorcyclists.


Updated : 2021-04-10 22:23 GMT+08:00