Sunday, May 04, 2008

Campaigns against drunk drivers

Drunk driving is a problem the world over. There are many countries that have tackled this in a very effective manner, through a combination of education and enforcement. It is a given that in countries such as Singapore, and in many parts of the Unites States, if you are detected driving drunk, then you are in for some jail time, with the possibility of your license getting affected in many countries around the world. Such practices have helped in making people more careful about driving when drunk, and reduced the levels of accidents as well.
However, in India, neither the level of education, nor of enforcement is prevalent. Drunk driving is very prevalent in our society, and a lot of that can be blamed on our belief that laws are not applicable on us individually. The other major reason driving this belief is the lax enforcement of laws and hence people would never have seen anybody convicted for drunk driving. However, in small ways, this is set to change. Mumbai has seen a major drive against drunk driving, and even Delhi police from time to time act against drunk drivers. Here is what Chennai police did:

Even before the Union government has accepted the recommendations of Parliament’s standing committee to act tough with drunken drivers, Chennai police has decided to get tougher. It is seriously thinking of producing such drivers in courts of law and get them imprisonment. The city traffic police has definitely has booked nearly 5,000 persons for drunken driving in four months. In 2007, they had booked 9,860 persons for drunken driving.
Drunken driving has been one of the major causes of road accidents. To make roads safer in the night, the traffic police has decided to keep traffic signals operational round the clock in some major points in the city. "For the first time, we are going to have round the clock traffic regulation in places like EVR Salai, Anna Salai, 100 feet road and Madhya Kailash junction. We will be monitoring the traffic here during late night hours and violators will be punished severely," Sunil Kumar said. He said drunken driving happen across the city and there were no specific points where they book more cases. "You get to book such cases everywhere in the city. The more we check, the more cases we book," he said.

In the end, education is important, but enforcement is all the more important. How many people have relatives in the US ? It would be good to ask them about drinking and driving, and you will find that people over there are terrified of doing that; there is a good chance that you will get to spend the night in jail and pushed before a judge in the morning. This applies even to important people and celebrities.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 4:09 AM