The families of six men in a taxi killed by a drunk truck driver are facing their first Christmas and Lunar New Year without them. The driver will spend these festivals in jail after being sentenced this month to a six-year term for manslaughter. Court reports of the case were a reminder to Hong Kong drivers, on the cusp of the holiday season, of the dangers of drink-driving. We hope, for the sake of avoiding tragedy at times when families come together to celebrate, they will heed it. The authorities have tried to ram home the message by placing a car wreck at the Wan Chai entrance to the Cross-Harbour Tunnel as the centrepiece of an anti-drink-driving advertisement. There are opposing views as to whether such shock tactics work. Not long ago, 60 per cent of 3,000 British motorists polled said they had tried to improve their driving after seeing a shocking road-safety advertisement. This led to the conclusion that horror campaigns work in raising awareness and changing attitudes. About the same time in Ireland, such shock tactics, including images of a young girl being cut down by the out-of-control car of a drunk driver, were deemed not to have reduced bad driving because the number of people killed on the roads rose. One device that was used in the Irish campaign happened to be the placement of car wrecks at the side of the road. In fact Hong Kong, too, has used it before. The truth is that the effectiveness of road-safety campaigns cannot be measured just in lives lost without knowing the lives that might have been saved in accidents that were avoided by more careful driving. For example, since the introduction of random breath testing, the number of accidents related to drink-driving has fallen more than 60 per cent. It is hard to argue that this has not resulted in the saving of life. There is general consensus wherever hard-hitting campaigns have been used that they raise awareness, even if people become hardened to shocking images after seeing them two or three times. They are therefore worth persevering with as a graphic, if brutal, education tool to be used in tandem with the rigorous enforcement of the law's sanctions against drink-driving, speeding and a failure to wear seat belts.