Thai police offer cash prize of £240 for worst videos of traffic violations

File. Taxis wait at a red light signal on a street in Bangkok on 10 November 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)
File. Taxis wait at a red light signal on a street in Bangkok on 10 November 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

Police in Thailand are offering cash prizes of about 10,000 baht (£240) for sharing the “best” – or worst – videos of traffic violations in the country.

Thai Police began their annual seven-day New Year road safety campaign on Wednesday. The aim of the cash prizes is to promote road safety in Thailand, which saw 333 people deaths, and 2,672 injured in 2,707 road accidents nationwide between 29 December and 4 January last year.

On average, 22,000 people die each year in Thailand in road traffic accidents.

The national police chief Damrongsak Kittiprapas told reporters while launching the campaign, that about 7.3 million vehicles were expected to travel on the roads during the new year period.

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

During the seven days, the chief said that the exodus from Bangkok would peak on Wednesday and Thursday and return trips should be at their highest level next Monday and Tuesday.

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 days from 29 December to 4 January, police have asked the people to submit videos of traffic violations. And then the authorities will select the seven best — each would receive a 10,000-baht prize.

However, the campaign has also invited criticism on social media. Some have said that the Thai police’s initiative will make some deliberately do stunts on the roads, hence causing more harm.

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.”