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Drunken Driving Should Be Made Criminal Act

20/10/2021 at 9:21 AM

By D N Singh

“Drunken driving should never be a bailable offence. It is a criminal act when, as it happened in Sahid Nagar last evening. The man who had hit so many must have been drunk with more ego and wildness than liquor” said Maqbool Ali, a known road safety expert and adviser.  

If that is the plight of the regulation of vehicle movements on the roads of the capital city, then God alone can save the people on the roads.

A car driven by a drunken man and for over a good stretch of the busy road rummages at 100 plus per km hitting many other vehicles and injuries over eight, a huge question mark lurks at the traffic police which otherwise pounces on commuters for small offences like no helmet or triple load and so on.

That too at a time when after 8 pm the shutdown is in effect. Rupali square in Sahid Nagar is no ordinary point of traffic convergence.

Law Must Be Amended

Drunken driving is no new thing here and the police gets up to the need only during certain occasions and uses the detection device before the preening video cameras from the media houses.    

The alacrity against drunken driving in Odisha is indeed pitiable. Last Friday, for the first time, the Odisha police launched an operation to soop on drunken driving by four-wheel vehicles and bikers in many toll gates across the state.

What do the police need? A wake up call to know that this kind of lawlessness is going on every day in every city and town.

So, why is that tokenism being displayed at the toll gates while they are not able to keep a vigil on the dark-underbelly inside the cities like the capital city and adjoining cities where speed monsters can unleash the plunder anywhere.

Tokenism does not yield the results. Drunken driving being a bailable offence while in contrast 185 of the MV Act stipulates stricter punishments like imprisonment up to six months or a penalty of Rs.10,000 or both.

It means that drunken driving is not a criminal offence. So, the man who in a completely drunken state can run riot and hit and injure numerous people was an act of mere impulse!

Odisha Second Highest Incidents In India

“ It is high time that the laws were implemented more effectively which is not happening at all ” said Maqbool Ali adding that, “for last decade or so I have been pleading for change in the law and give more teeth to it but, it all ends after the meetings are over”.

Odisha has earned the dubious distinction of being the state with second highest number of road deaths caused by drunken driving and this is according to a report by the ministry of road transport and highways.  

After hitting the two bikers anyone at the wheels should come back to his senses. But the man last evening did not and that precisely speaks about his inherent mind-set.

About the Author:

DN Singh is a Bhubaneswar-based senior journalist.

DISCLAIMER

This is the personal opinion of the author. The views expressed in this write up have nothing to do with the www.prameyanews.com

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