Thailand: Traffic offenders during Songkran to be sent for duty at morgue

The move by the police and public health departments is expected to sensitise the public.

In a move to discourage drunken and rash driving during the Songkran holiday, Thailand administration plans to send offenders to work in a morgue. Thailand has the second worst record in the world for traffic fatalities.

The festival to mark the new year falls between April 13 and 15. Thousands of Thais take to the road on motorbikes as they head home to the villages. A ban on inappropriate clothing and water fights has also been imposed by the police.

The revelries with alcohol flowing freely result in more than two people dying and 160 injured every hour, reports AP.

Besides impounding the vehicles of drunken drivers, the morgue shock treatment is planned to act as a deterrent. "Traffic offenders who are found guilty by courts will be sent to do public service work at morgues in hospitals," said Police colonel Kriangdej Jantarawong, deputy director of the special task planning division.

Anurak Amornpetchsathaporn, director of the emergency response for the Bureau of Public Health, said Monday that a stint at hospital morgues could drive home the message.

"They should see the actual physical and mental damage," he said. "In the morgue, they will have to be cleaning up and transporting bodies, 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."

Coinciding with the Buddhist/ Hindu solar calendar the Songkran festival marks the start of summer. Water fights on the streets are a part of the celebration everywhere in Thailand. The Ching Mai water parade where statues from local temples are carried through the streets and people are encouraged to pour water over the legs of the Buddha statues is a big event, reports Express.