Drunk driving to increase road safety? In Japan, this is the new, unusual method that the police and driving instructors have implemented at a school in the city of Fukuoka. The aim is to prevent accidents caused by the effect of alcohol.
After, in 2006, three children, aged between one and four years old, died in an accident on a bridge in the Japanese city, after the car they were traveling in was hit by a driver under the influence of alcohol, the police of Chikushino , in Fukuoka, started a awareness campaign to convince drivers with “overconfidence” never to drive drunk.
So the Chikushino driving school began offering controlled drunk driving experiences. First, instructors assess participants’ reflexes and driving skills while they are still sober. Then, as The Guardian reports, over an hour drink a 350ml beer, a glass of wine and a glass of brandy — enough to exceed the legal limit (0.15 mg per litre). The driving lesson then takes place within the school grounds and under the supervision of the instructors.
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“The aim of this hands-on event was to allow drivers to experience for themselves the difference between driving before and after drinking and had an idea of how dangerous drunk driving can be“, said the police spokesman, quoted on CNN International.
After the class, many of the participants stated that the experience allowed them to realize that they had a lot of “overconfidence” in their ability to drive under the influence of alcohol and that they realized the dangers involved in drunk driving.
According to the North American channel, some mentioned that they noticed that their ability to control the car was affected, despite feeling good to drive even though they had been drinking.
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“Despite [beber] affect skills necessary for driving, such as cognitive ability, judgment and vehicle manoeuvrability, the driver assumes he is driving safely — that’s the danger of driving under the influence of alcohol,” said Shojiro Kubota, deputy director of the driving school, quoted in The Guardian.
According to the British newspaper, Japan’s national police agency has advanced that the probability of a road accident involving a death is seven times greater when the driver is under the influence of alcohol.
“We hope that more drivers realize how dangerous drunk driving is,” said the police spokesman.