'Global' accolade for city cops

International think tank commends efforts to check drunken driving

'Global' accolade for city cops

The organisation in its just released 2008-09 annual report has lauded the initiative of the City traffic police. Bangalore is the only City in India to be featured by the GRSP, which also includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The GRSP cites its partnership with the City traffic police, involving a three-year public education and enforcement project against drinking and driving. This had led to sustained and increased police interventions to curb the menace.

According to the report, the enforcement drive led to a three-fold increase in drink-drive cases registered over three years. The GRSP has now called for strengthening such initiatives.

Focus on Bangalore

The GRSP began its road safety initiative in India, with a focus on Bangalore after 900 people were killed in road accidents alone in 2006. Along with the police and a City task force, the GRSP facilitated the development of a partnership programme known as ‘Suraksha Sanchara’ or ‘Road Safety Drive’.

Safe route to school

The GRSP also undertook the ‘Safe Route to School’ initiative involving the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC). The GRSP also mentions the B-TRAC 2010 road traffic plan to tackle key road safety issues, as a positive one.

Speaking on the success of the drive Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood said, “The police are not here to spoil the party, but are against drinking and driving. We have supplied 200 alcho-meters from Germany under the B-TRAC plan.”

Sood explained that the device need not be put in the mouth of every motorist, as is assumed by a majority of people.

“It is held a few meters away from the face of motorists and picks up the breath and displays the reading. Only if a driver is found to have alcohol above the permissible limits, will he/she be subjected to the second stage, a disposable straw test and printed reports are given,” he explained.

The City traffic police have booked 31,000 cases against drunken driving (DD) in 2008 alone and are confident of registering an equal number of cases this year too.

Down by 20 %

Sood added that in 2007 there were 981 alcohol related deaths, while 2008 saw a decline - 892. “Alcohol related deaths came down down by 20 percent last year. We expect this to come down further this year too. Up to June 09, we have had 357 casualties. Going by this figure, we will have lesser number by December, vis-a-vis 2008,” he reasoned.

Meanwhile, there has been a number of cases involving self-driven accidents related to consumption of alcohol too.

To this, Sood said, “It is sad that many of such accidents have taken place, viz vehicle hitting a road-side curb or divider or toppling over into a ditch. Our advice is for people to have somebody drive you home, if you have consumed an alcoholic drink.”

The police said, they encounter hostility while conducting drives against drunken driving and motorists/drivers resort to all kinds of tricks to escape being checked and caught including names dropping, shouting and indecent behaviour.

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