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【Taipei】The Chinese New Year season has been a peak season of drunk driving accidents in Taiwan. According to a statistics released recently by Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior, there were 608 persons killed in drunk driving accidents in the first ten months of 2006. There are 59 deaths more than the number of US and UK soldiers killed in the hostile incidents (tallied at 549 according to US DoD statistics) in the same period. It surely sets 2006 another record breaking year in drunk driving death toll for Taiwan. It shows the devastating situation for drunk driving in Taiwan. It also reveals a worrisome insensitivity to the death toll among Taiwanese society.?
In the effort to counter the severe drunk driving problem, Taiwan Beverage Alcohol Forum (TBAF), an advocate for responsible drinking culture in Taiwan, launches a new creative public campaign “Bob the designated driver is a saint” today. TBAF aims to catch the attention of the severe condition of drunk driving has caused in Taiwan. The outdoor light box depicts anyone who appears on the mirror can be a saint by acting a designated driver when drinking is involve.?
The event is joined by the newly elected Taipei City mayor Mr. Hau, Lung-Bin, State Legislator, Mr. Hsieh, Kuo-Liang as well as Mr. Ho, Kuo-jung, Chief of Traffic Section, National Police Administration. They all hope the “designated driver” can be rooted among all Taiwanese, so that drunk driving may be curtailed.?
In order to cater to the young adults, the highest risk group, TBAF also invited the 2004 Golden Horse Award Best New Performer Yang, Yu-jung to be the representative of this event. Mr. Yang wishes everyone to participate in the “Bob the designated driver” movement.
Frank Chang, Chairman of TBAF, expressed that TBAF was established in 2000 aiming to promote a responsible drinking culture in Taiwan. In view of the rising drunk driving situation in Taiwan, TBAF chose to tackle on the issue. “Bob the designated driver” campaign was first introduced to Taiwan in last June by TBAF. It aims to raise peer pressure to prevent drinking and driving when drivers are under influence. In addition to the hope of everyone in Taiwan can participate in the designated driver, Mr. Chang wishes government and law enforcement agencies as well as civil bodies to joint effort in making the designated driver to be perpetuated in Taiwan.
According to Jessica Fu, Executive Director of TBAF, “Bob the designated driver” is originated from Belgium in back in 1995. It drew immediate attention and is promoted in 17 EU states to date. TBAF has gained international recognition of its dogged pursue in anit-drink and drive issues, it resulted in the success in launching the “Bob the designated driver” campaign. Taiwan is the first country in Asia to promote the movement.
Jessia Fu adds that everyone knows the slogan “don’t drink and drive.” But the drunk driving death is still rising every year even the penalties are toughening. It may be attributed to the lack of peer pressure at the critical moments when people under influence are about to drive. With the “Bob the designated driver” campaign, we would like to offer a moral support to friends and relatives to force behavioral change on the part of the drunk drivers.
TBAF launched the new “Bob the designated driver” campaign in the Chinese New Year season in the hope to heighten awareness of the danger of drinking and driving. An outdoor light box is stationed at the Hsin Yi District, where popular pubs and lounge bars mashroomed. Passers-by stop in front of the light box, the face reflects on the mirror completes the saint image. In completing the saint image, the sober person may decide to serve as an designated driver to drive each and every friends home safely. In addition, TBAF also offers an internet game to penetrate the youth generation. The winner can get a free trip to Malaysia.
The newly elect Mayor of Taipei City, Hau, Lung-Bin states that, being an international city, Taipei is proudly a part of the “Bob the designated driver” movement. Mayor Hau agrees that peer pressure is one of the effective way in curbing the drunk driving problem. He praises TBAF for launching this international movement. Mayor Hau implores all citizens of Taipei to participate in the movement to become saints in protecting friends and families from trffic accidents in the forthcoming holiday season. He also states that City Police Department will tighten up the roadside alcohol test to reduce danger of drunk driving.
State Legislator Hsieh, Kuo-Liang, who is currently leading a new initiative to raise stiffer penalty for drunk driving at the Legislative Yuan, is happy to see TBAF promoting the designated driver campaign. He states that making stiffer laws and request tougher law enforcement are only rational measures in curbing the drunk driving. What TBAF is aiming is driving from an emotional appeal to every person to form a stronger force in saving lives. Legislator Hsie thinks the effective resolution in reducing drunk driving lies in the combination of stronger law, tougher law enforcement and initiation such as designated driver movement that TBAF is promoting. He wishes to see more people volunteering to be Bob, the designated for friends. ?
Mr. Ho, Kuo-jung, Chief of Traffic Section, National Police Administration, noted that drinking and driving has been the No. 1 cause of road accidents in Taiwan. The death toll of drunk driving has been breaking the records two years in a row. Starting from January 1st, police will increase island wide alcohol tests to 12 times from 8 each month. Regarding the new traffic law enforcement, Mr. Ho emphasizes that they are measures of prevention. The best way to road safety lies on drivers self-refrain. Mr. Ho also wishes that everyone can participate in TBAF “Bob designated driver” movement.
TBAF also offers Taxi coupon as part of the “Bob the designated driver” campaign. Before end of March, a NT$ 50 taxi coupon will be offered to customers in selected participating restaurants and pubs. The internet game competition can be accessed at http://www.tbaf.org.tw/chinese/index.php Winner will receive a free trip to Malaysia.