MASCOT provides free mini buses for its Laos employees when they need to get to work. However, some employees prefer to use their own motorbike, as it is an easier and more flexible way for them to get to work. And many of the employees who do use MASCOT's free mini buses have motorbikes they ride in their spare time.
In order to prevent traffic accidents from happening when our employees ride their motorbikes, we decided to hold a traffic safety course for them. We invited the traffic police from the Vientiane Municipality to MASCOT's premises to run a course for our employees.
The course focused on traffic law and general traffic safety rules, such as wearing a safety helmet. The traffic police also showed employees how to identify potential risks in different traffic situations, and how to avoid them.
In addition, the personnel department will contact any employees who turn up for work on their motorbike without wearing a helmet. They will talk to them about the importance of increased safety, like wearing a helmet. Wearing a helmet is mandatory, both for the driver and any passengers. The fine for not wearing a helmet is 30,000 Lao kips, corresponding to 3 US$.
Motorbikes are a very popular mode of transport in Laos, as they are much cheaper than cars and also use far less petrol. And you only have to be 15 years old to drive one. The country is estimated to have 1.8 million motorbikes in a population of 7.1 million. Of the 1.8 million motorbikes, around 700,000 are registered in the capital of Vientiane. There are around 10 times as many motorbikes as cars in Laos.