Drink drivers to work in mortuaries

Drink drivers to work in mortuaries

Convicted drink-drivers will get the chance to wear electronic monitoring devices and work in mortuaries like this one at Nopparatrajathanee Hospital instead of going to prison. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Convicted drink-drivers will get the chance to wear electronic monitoring devices and work in mortuaries like this one at Nopparatrajathanee Hospital instead of going to prison. (Photo by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Drink drivers caught during the Songkran festival will be ordered to work at mortuaries and hospital emergency rooms to make them aware of the danger of their offences, the Department of Probation says.

Department chief Narat Sawetnant said this forms part of his agency's enforcement measures to control offenders' behaviour.

Courts will assign offenders to work at hospitals and undergo activities to ensure their awareness of road accidents and deaths.

This will include visiting emergency rooms and mortuaries and observing the work of hospital staff and the health condition of those injured and disabled from road accidents, Pol Col Narat said.

A total of 390 people were killed and 3,808 injured during the government's seven-day campaign to prevent road accidents, which ended on Monday, according to authorities.

During the period, 5,173 traffic offenders were convicted and sent to "behaviour control" sessions, organised by the department, Pol Col Narat said.

Of these, 4,856 were caught drink driving, 278 were behind the wheel under the influence of drugs and the rest drove carelessly.

Nakhon Phanom saw the largest number of offenders (402), followed by Bangkok (287) and Surin (285).

He said the department plans to use electronic monitoring devices as part of the "behaviour control" operation.

The offenders would be barred from entering particular areas or leaving the designated zones in specified time frames, Pol Col Narat said, adding the devices can also detect speeds when the offenders drive.

The department is in the process of procuring 3,000 devices.

The measures could be out in June this year, he said.

Those who defy the restrictions will be arrested and sent to jail instead of undergoing "behaviour control", Pol Col Narat said.

He said the measure that forces offenders to provide services at hospitals does not violate human rights since this is still in line with the law.

The devices will be sent to departmental facilities in Bangkok and other provinces.

Dr Somboon Tosborvorn, director of Nopparatrajathanee Hospital in Kannayao district, which participates in the programme, said 2,314 offenders have provided services at the hospital, including observing emergency rooms and working in mortuaries.

The activities are aimed at creating a sense of morality about drink driving, reckless driving and other traffic offences, Dr Somboon added.

Meanwhile, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) recorded 42,720 traffic violations in connection with motorcycles and 32,816 offences with public and private vehicles on the final day of its seven-day campaign against drink-driving, which ended on Tuesday.

NCPO deputy spokeswoman Sirichan Ngathong said officers needed to seize 500 motorcycles and 116 cars from offenders, adding 18,298 were taken to face prosecution.

Throughout the campaign, she said 6,177 motorcycles and 1,951 cars had been seized from intoxicated drivers.

She said 430,867 traffic violations during the period involved motorcycles and 354,100 concerned public and private vehicles.

Of these, 279,351 motorcyclists and 198,927 car drivers are facing prosecution, she said.

Col Sirichan said the seized vehicles are properly taken care of and the owners can eventually reclaim them.

She was speaking at the conclusion of the campaign on Wednesday.

Col Sirichan also thanked the officials she had worked with to ensure traffic safety as well as urging motorists to comply with traffic rules.

She said the campaign had received a favourable response from the public.


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