For a long time now, road accidents have been one of the top killers mankind has seen and drunken drivers everywhere are only adding some serious fuel to this figurative and literal fire. We of all people, know the threat of irresponsible driving – in light of the recent hit and run tragedy in Delhi.
And this is a particularly pressing problem in Thailand where according to World Health Organisation records, 24,237 people were killed on Thailand’s roads in 2013.
What’s more, today is the first day of Songkran, the Thai New Year. And over the years, the three-day celebration has reinvented itself as a large scale binge-drinking phenomenon. As a result, the Thai roads have seen a massive spike in drunk-driving fatalities in a country that is already the second-most deadly, per capita, for road accidents.
And according to Breaking 911, to combat this, the Thai police have gotten creative – with a drastic new law this year. People charged with drunk driving in Thailand will now be sent to work in morgues.
The Thai cabinet approved the plan last week and it has been finalised that the courts are free to decide who such punishment is suitable for.
The type of morgue duty the culprits will be assigned has not bee specified and will probably vary from case to case. But the idea is simple – seeing enough heads smashed in by steering wheels and shattered wind-shields is bound to create a more conscientious road ethic by the time Songkran come around next year – and for a long time to come.
Thai tourism expects over half a million tourists to visit the beautiful beachy country during Songkran, and we sure hope that this clever new tactic will help stop drunk-driving deaths from ruining the holiday.
And just food for thought: Maybe India could try something like this out too?