Controversial sticker-covered Pai highway sign sparks fury

Photo of Mitch Connor
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Photo courtesy of The Nation

In Mae Hong Son’s Pai district, the highway sign that reads Welcome to Pai has found itself at the centre of a heated controversy.

Adorned with an array of stickers, the sign has divided opinion on whether it’s a quirky tradition or a potential road hazard.

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The viral photo, widely circulated on social media over the past week, showcases the sign drowning in stickers, capturing the essence of bikers who stop by to commemorate their journey through the northern province. However, amidst the allure of this tourism gimmick, concerns over safety and legality have emerged.

According to the person who first shared the controversial image, bikers customarily decorate the sign with stickers from their clubs while snapping selfies or group photos, adding a personal touch to their visit. Proponents argue that this ritual has become integral to Mae Hong Son’s charm, drawing tourists eager to participate in the tradition.

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Yet, dissenting voices raise valid points about the obstructed visibility of the sign, potentially posing risks to motorists. Questions about the legality of defacing government property further fuel the contentious dialogue among online communities, reported The Nation.

Suggestions abound on addressing the issue, ranging from erecting a separate sign exclusively for stickers to community-driven initiatives funded by local entrepreneurs. However, amidst the clamour, one fact remains: all stickers have been removed from the sign at the time of reporting.

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As discussions rage on, it’s essential to note the legal ramifications. The Highway Act of 1992 unequivocally prohibits any alteration or damage to highway signs, with violators facing hefty fines or imprisonment.

Should you witness similar infractions, don’t hesitate to report them to the Highway Hotline at 1146.

In related news, the Machanu Roundabout, where Jomtien Second Road meets the path to Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, has turned into a perilous zone, prompting residents to demand swift intervention. The pedestrian crossing signs, seemingly innocuous, are placed at a precarious height of only 160 centimetres.

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