September 19, 2017

BANGKOK: How can society prevent drink driving? Send offending drivers to work in morgues, Thai authorities say.

Thailand’s roads are the world’s second deadliest after Libya, and with fatality rates continuing to rise each year, authorities are scrambling to prevent accidents.

Since April 2016, more than 7,000 Thais who failed breathalyser tests or were charged with reckless driving have been sent to hospitals across the country to work in mortuaries as part of their community service.

The drastic method, that includes pulling bodies out from containers with blankets covering them, is meant to deter people from becoming repeat offenders of road laws, officials say.

Some offenders with basic medical knowledge are sent to help rescue workers in the field so they can see lives being saved, or lost, up close.

Others are assigned to clean the morgues, sweeping and mopping floors, and scrubbing the refrigerated body containers.

“This is called shock therapy. People will not be able to visualise the horror they can cause otherwise,” said Rayong Vienglor, a local director in the country’s probation department.

Yolchai Jongjirasiri, medical director at Bangkok’s Sirindhorn Hospital, told a group of some 40 participants joining the monthly programme in September: “I’m imploring all of you not to drink and drive ever again. I don’t want to see you end up like these dead people.” – dpa

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