Friday, May 9, 2008

Bangkok Ban

Yesterday, a new law banning the use of phones while driving went into effect in Bangkok. Similar laws are in effect in other cities around the world. But, in Bangkok, you can still use a hands-free device while driving. If you ask me, the real problem isn't holding the phone at the wheel - it has more to do with the driver being distracted as they carry on a conversation at the same time as driving. I checked out some statistics, and according to what I found, using a hands-free device, rather than a regular cell phone while driving, does not significantly reduce the risk of car accidents.

When I asked a few drivers how they felt about the new law, most of them told me it was no problem. And, one driver said he uses his hands-free accessory anyway, so it doesn't matter to him. But, one of the cabbies seemed concerned about the fine which ranges from 400 to 1000 baht. He thinks the law is just another excuse for the police to make money. In his opinion, if the government was truly concerned about safety, they would ban hands-free devices, too.