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Pick up that helmet

The serious road mishap involving a pickup truck that overturned, killing more than a dozen of passengers who rode on the vehicle's tray was sad. A recent study shows that the vast majority of people killed when they fall off pickup trucks were killed by their head injuries.

The current Thai legislation allows a maximum of six people to travel on the tray of a pickup, but you can see significantly more on a single pickup truck every day. The police say that "they do not prosecute violations of the law because the entire transport system would fail if you followed the law, because there is no available public transport!"

My suggestion is: the state should introduce a law requiring the use of helmets for those sitting on the tray and hold the driver of the vehicle responsible if the passengers do not comply with the law. A fine of 5,000 baht for every passenger without a helmet should also be introduced. It is a cheap and effective way to let the prevailing threat to security continue, without causing more fatalities on Thai roads.

Goran Femrin

Just doing his job

I don't think it is correct for the chairman of the House standing committee on laws, justice and human human rights to criticise Maj Gen Burin Thongprapai, a legal officer of Isoc's southern forward command, for filing a complaint with the police accusing 12 panelists at a Pattani forum on Sept 28 for distorting facts "in order to incite unrest and rebellion against the authorities in a way that will cause upheaval in the country or encourage people to violate the law".

Maj Gen Burin was simply doing his duty. If either he or his superiors did not act responsibly when they were made aware of the situation, they could have been charged with delinquency of duty under Section 157 of the Criminal Code. This carries a jail term of one to 10 years, hefty fines and/or both.

This criticism is tantamount to interference with the responsibilities of civil servants, and threatening them if they carry out their legal duties. It is also presses government officers to take sides and play politics, as has happened in the past. The 12 people who were charged could not automatically be considered guilty. They would have to legally contest the allegations, and prove without doubt that they had no intention to break the law. Otherwise, people could say or do anything they wish, and uphold claims of "democracy". Human rights and freedom of speech do not go hand in hand with sedition!

Members of parliament should concentrate on objectively reviewing the current legal processes. In doing so, they should either seek to abolish or amend laws which are unfair or obsolete, or conversely, create new laws to ensure the security and wellbeing of their citizens.

They should also spend ample time in their constituencies to see and hear the needs and hardships of the people. Finding faults with officials will achieve nothing. The current government has only been present for two months. Like any other, it needs time to work.

Dusit Thammaraks

Extreme Anglophiles

Like millions around the world, I am enjoying the Rugby World Cup but cannot say the same about the commentary team.

No matter which teams are playing or the topic being discussed they take every opportunity to mention England and/or English players. Bias is one thing but the commentary team were well over the top. To be honest, it does not come as a surprise.

David Scott

136 Na Ranong Road Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Fax: +02 6164000 email:

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