To prevent drunk driving, the Motor Vehicles office in Taoyuan City on Tuesday held a road safety lesson in a funeral home for those who were caught driving under the influence. In hopes of teaching a life lesson, they were invited to attend the corpse cleaning and dressing at a funeral home.
According to the Traffic Police Brigade of Taoyuan City, there were 40 drunk driving recidivists in attendance this year. One of them was caught intoxicated driving 11 times. They were not told that they would watch dummies being washed and dressed so several participants struggled to keep their calm.
Starting in March this year, governments in different regions in Taiwan are cooperating with local funeral homes to hold road safety lessons for the drunk drivers. Seventy-six recidivists were brought to class on March 7 in Banqiao, New Taipei. The first lesson in Taichung was held on April 16 with 43 people in attendance. Changhua joined on July 4, while Taoyuan kicked off such events on Sept. 24.
Taiwan authorities have taken a stricter attitude against intoxicated driving this year. Besides the cooperation with funeral homes, stiffer punishment took effect on July 1 that not only the fine for the driver has become higher but even the adult passengers could possibly be fined as much as NT$3,000.
Taoyuan Motor Vehicles Office Director Lin Cheng-lang pointed out that intoxicated driving caused 3,088 people deaths and injured 36,000 people over the past five years. Arranging such lessons in the funeral house is aimed at increasing students’ awareness of preserving lives and reduce intoxicated driving.
In fact, Taiwan is not the only country that takes similar efforts to let drunk drivers learn to cherish lives. In Thailand, convicted drunk-drivers were brought to work in a morgue as punishment. “In the morgue, they will have to be cleaning up and transporting bodies,” Thailand official Anurak Amornpetchsathaporn told Associated Press in 2016, “so that hopefully they would feel the pain, so that they may understand and attain a good conscience, so that it could be safer on the roads.”
By 李春台 (Li Chun-tai) and Carol Kan
Translated by Carol Kan