The way to prevent fatalities due to impaired driving is to stop people from driving. This means building workable public transportation in every city in the US and penalizing people for driving instead of using public transportation in all ways possible. The way to fund public transportation is with prohibitively high taxes on gasoline as well as instituting toll roads everywhere as well as closing many city streets to private automobiles. We also need to pass a law against bars having parking lots and we should make the breathalyzer ignition interlock standard on every automobile in the US just like seatbelts.
In Japan in 1993 there were 525 drunk driving fatalities for a population of 124.7 million people. In other words, 0.000004210104 drunk driving fatalities per capita. Compare this to the US. In 1991 in the US there were 22,083 drunk driving fatalities for a population of 252,127,402 people. In other words 0.000087586672 drunk driving fatalities per capita.
In other words, there are 20.8039212 times as many deaths caused by drunk driving in the US than there are in Japan!
The reasons why are pretty damn obvious to anyone who has ever lived in Japan. Japanese bars do not have parking lots. The drunks are all on the subway and not in automobiles. In Japan public transportation is the norm for everything and driving is the exception.
In Japan only five percent of traffic fatalities are caused by drunk driving, in the US this number is fifty percent.
Isn’t it pretty obvious what we need to do to stop drunk driving in the US?
But don’t expect MADD to start campaigning for better public transportation any time soon. MADD is funded by DaimlerChrysler, General Motors and Nissan. Can you spell conflict of interest, boys and girls?
Mothers Against Drunk Driving: A Crash Course in MADD by David J. Hanson, Ph.D. http://alcoholfacts.org/CrashCourseOnMADD.html
Drunk Driving in Japan http://www.dui.com/dui-library/foreign/dui-japan
Copyright © 2012, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network