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In a bid to encourage motorbike drivers in Koh Samui to wear motorbike helmets a man, who has recently moved to the island, has just taken delivery of 600 imported inflatable motorbike helmets. Mike Vehlmet, the man behind the new ‘safety campaign’ told the Samui Times that he has been visiting Koh Samui for many years and loves everything about the island other than the problems on the road. He believes that part of the problem with drivers refusing to wear protective head gear is that bike riders think they look uncool. “I have spoken to many bike drivers on the island” he said, “and conducted my own survey to find out why they do not wish to wear a helmet. My thinking is that if you can make wearing a helmet fun then it won’t be such a problem”. Mr Vehlmet’s new scheme aims to encourage the wearing of helmets by first starting out with fun inflatable versions that he believes will get bike drivers used to donning a helmet before taking to the roads. “my newly imported helmets are useless in terms of protecting your head from accidents” he said, “however it will start to train the bike drivers of the island to get used to having something on their head in a fun and happy way.” But that is not the only benefit of his inflatable helmets, he believes there is another benefit too. “ these inflatable helmets can be kept in your pocket and blown up at any time” he told us, “ so if you really do not want to wear a helmet but you see a road block you can just pull it out, blow it up and avoid a fine, it is a lot less obvious that stopping and getting a helmet from under your seat, once you have passed the road block you can simply deflate it and put it back in your pocket and carry on your journey”.
Mr Vehlmet plans to start selling his rather dubious helmets at the islands walking street markets.