Friday, November 03, 2006

Poland continues anti-drunk campaign

Poland's Ministry of Justice launched an anti drunk driving campaign some months ago. Over this All Saints' Day holiday that campaign was continued with the deployment of some 15,000 police officers on the road of Poland.

The results of the deployment are impressive. During the period starting last Friday and ending yesterday evening, 1 November, 2006 All Saints Day in Poland, the police revoked the licenses of some 3000 drivers.

Even though some 3000 drivers were taken off the roads, the carnage was still high. There were approximately blank accidents and light deaths.

The anti-drunk campaign is having an immediate effect. But it is primarily based on enforcement and not education of the public to stigmatize alcohol and driving.

Currently there is no social stigma attached to driving drunk. It almost appears driving while drunk gives one some form of elevated social status.

The revocation of licenses is an administrative matter that is ignored by many Polish drivers. They just return to the roads and drive under the influence of alcohol again.

It is time for the country to do more than simple enforcement of laws that are ignored.

The cost to society involved in putting 15,000 police officers on the road specifically looking for drunk drivers, the costs of the fire engine and rescue services, the cost to the health-care system, the cost to families losing loved ones, and the general cost to society are too high to ignore this problem.

There must be more public advertising to make drunk driving socially unacceptable.