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Money for Misfortune: Thailand’s cash prizes for gruesome dashcam footage

Money for Misfortune: Thailand’s cash prizes for gruesome dashcam footage

Several Thai organizations joined forces to award prizes for the most gruesome footage of road accidents taken by dash cams.

Though the “contest” sounds horrific, the motivation came from a good place. The organizers hoped that, if people know that others may be filming them — and widely publicizing their actions — in hopes of collecting the prizes, they may behave better behind the wheel. Or be brought to justice quicker when they don’t.

Thai newspaper Daily News teamed up with the national legislature, police, and the anti-drunk driving organization to award cash for the videos. The campaign, called “Volunteer Eyes of the Traffic,” has ended and it is unknown if they will run it again. It would make sense for them to do so since the upcoming Songkran holidays are some of the deadliest on Thai roads.

The top prize of THB20,000 (US$640) went to Wipawee Janthadee for her March 24 “Pick Up Hit and Run” clip, which featured Nopadol Wongwongsa, 38, hitting a motorcycle on the highway to to Chonburi’s Bang Saen Beach.

After seeing the video, police were quickly able to pick up Nopadol, who claimed he didn’t know he hit the biker despite the clip looking like a car chase. After seeing the video himself, he admitted his fault to police who are investigating and waiting to charge him until they know the health state of the victim, who remains in the hospital.

The THB10,000 (US$320)  second prize was for Thanasan Jampathai’s March 26 “Benz Woman Changes Her Mind” clip filmed near the Lat Phrao-Ratchada Intersection on Rachadapisek Road.

In it, the woman driver of a luxury car changes lanes at the last minute to avoid using the bridge. Her change of lane causes two motorcyclists to hit her. She is now under investigation.

A THB5,000 prize (US$160)  for third place went to “Hit Once Hit Again” in which Pornthep Wangkornklang, 22, runs over a motorcyclist twice in Samut Prakarn before damaging several other cars. It turned out, he did not know how to drive and has been charged with negligent and reckless driving causing injury.

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