Bhubaneswar: As drunken driving is one of the major reasons for occurrence of accidents in the State, the Government has asked DGP to take strong action including arrest of the driver against drunken driving cases.
Usha Padhee, Principal Secretary, Commerce & Transport has written a letter to DGP Sunil Bansal in this regard.
“It is a fact that, drunken driving is one of the reasons for occurrence of accidents in the State. As per the report received from RTOs and Police authorities, during the Zero Fatality week, 1257 cases of drunken driving have been detected by the RTOs and 133 such cases have been detected by the Police. But drivers have not been arrested for drunken driving,” Shrimati Padhee said in her letter.
She said the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety has directed the Odisha government to prosecute the offender (on drunken driving case) and seek imprisonment as prescribed under section 185 of MV Act, 1988 even for the first offence. The Committee has also directed for suspension of driving license for a period of not less than three months, she pointed out.
“Road safety is a matter of concern for all of us. The Supreme Court Committee has expressed their concern for the rise in road accident fatalities in the State. Hence, steps may kindly be taken for arrest of the drunken drivers to discourage others from drinking and driving,” the Principal Secretary told the DGP.
For detection of drunken driving, she said, an adequate number of breath analysers have been provided to police stations and RTOs. Further, as decided, Zero Tolerance Day against violation of traffic rules should be followed in letter and spirit, Shrimati Padhee added.
The DGP was further instructed to issue necessary instructions to all Police Stations of the State not to compound the drunken driving cases and arrest the drunken drivers.
As per Section 185 of the MV Act, whoever, while driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle under the influence of drinks and drugs shall be punishable for the first offence with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine of Rs 10,000 or with both; and for a second or subsequent offence, with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine which may extend to of Rs 15,000 or with both.
In view of the constant rise in road accident fatalities, the State Government had observed Zero Fatality Week from 1st to 7th April 2023. This week was observed throughout the State with the support of various Departments of the Government and the output is quite encouraging.
There is a decline in accidents and fatalities by 39.9% and 28.6% respectively during the week compared to the week just preceding the Zero Fatality Week.
Similarly, there is a decline in accidents and fatalities by 33% and 15% respectively during the Week compared to the same period of last year.
Most importantly, there is no juvenile death due to road accidents during the Week as a result of stringent enforcement and awareness activities relating to juveniles.