Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Priests asked to shame drunk drivers

(Reuters) Prosecutors in overwhelmingly Catholic Poland have asked priests to read out the names of drink-drivers from the pulpit as part of efforts to reduce the country's high road death rate.

Church leaders have not said yet whether they will support the scheme, aimed to shame drivers into sobriety.

"We post the names of convicted drunk drivers at town halls," said Rafal Grabia, a prosecutor in the mountain town of Zywiec in southern Poland. "But who reads that? The information is not reaching family, friends and neighbors."

More than 98,000 have died on Polish roads since 1991, making Poles 2.5 times more likely to die in road accidents than Swedes or U.K. citizens, European Union figures show.

Drunk driving cases rose 75 percent between 2001 and 2005 in ex-communist Poland to 80,000, according to the justice ministry.