The Transporters are here, breathe easy

The Transporters are here, breathe easy

Dropping the drunk

The Transporters are here, breathe easy

The concept of “drop home” drivers, men who will drive you in your car back home in case you have had one too many, is catching up in the City. That may come as a godsend for many who have nearly given up frequeting their favourite bars, thanks to the nightmarish breathalyser sticks being thrust into their faces as they drive home.

Saturday saw 1,072 people driving with high levels of alcohol in their blood booked, though that figure was considerably less from 1,300 a week ago. The figure is of only those booked on Saturday nights. The reduction in the number of cases offers no relief to those who patronise water holes in the City of Pubs, and many feel they are being subjected to unnecessary harassment by corrupt cops and have stopped frequenting their favourite bars.

Drivers, who can be called on their cellphones directly, through cab agencies or through men in charge of valet parking at star hotels, will drive your vehicle back home as you relax in the back seat and smile at the fearsome cop with his weapon, the breathalyser.

Ravi Noronha, 37, said:“After a party recently, a friend helped me call up a driver, who picked me up from Bowring Club and dropped me at Rajajinaragar, parked my vehicle and left. I paid him Rs 500.” He added that the driver comes as a great relief as not only does he help reduce the stress of encountering a policeman but also relieves one of tackling the tricky roads in the City.

The rates vary. Some of the drivers also charge per hour. Jagadish, owner of SNS cab service agency told Deccan Herald: “We generally charge about Rs 600 flat for drops within the City, as the driver has to come back to wherever his vehicle is by auto or some other means. The concept was popular in Mumbai, although it was picking up fast in the City,” Jagadish said.

Chandrappa, a school van driver said: “The police are actually a blessing in disguise. I used to earn about Rs 5,000 per month for my school trips, but in the last three-five months, I have sometimes made Rs 2,000 just on one weekend.”

Richa Rajan Prasad, who has come down for a project from Mumbai, said she was warned of the police in the City by her colleagues but finding these ‘safe chauffeurs’ was a pleasant surprise.  “...It is not that they only help us avoid the cops, but it is also safe to have somebody who is not drunk driving,” she added.

In fact, in many of the Western countries, the drivers are marketed as SAFE Chauffeurs.
Representatives of another agency, SAFE DRIVERS, said they charge Rs 180 for four hours and that the charge goes up by Rs 40 for every hour. The drivers can also be hired through firms like JustDial, whose representatives said that calls inquiring for contact details of such chauffeurs have been on the increase of late.