To combat the carnage on the country's roads this month during the annual weeklong traditional New Year's holiday celebration, Thai authorities are going gory: Drunk drivers and repeat traffic offenders will be sent to work in hospital morgues to see the results of their irresponsibility. The Songkran holiday puts untold thousands of Thais on the road, returning to their home villages from the big cities to reunite with families. The government's safety campaign calls the period—during which it is estimated 2.3 people die every hour and 160 are injured—"The Seven Days of Danger." Casual attitudes toward road safety give Thailand the second worst record in the world for traffic fatalities, and health and safety experts fear the situation may be getting worse, reports the AP.
The government, which earlier this year said drunk drivers could have their cars impounded for the duration of the holiday, last week approved the morgue shock treatment plan. "Traffic offenders who are found guilty by courts will be sent to do public service work at morgues in hospitals," said Police Col. Kriangdej Jantarawong. "It is a strategy used to make traffic offenders afraid of driving recklessly and driving while they are drunk because they could end up in the same condition. It is aimed to be a deterrent." Adds a director with the Bureau of Public Health: "They should see the actual physical and mental damage." (Read more Thailand stories.)