It has been a little over a fortnight since a techie Nikhil More escaped from the clutches of an auto-driver and his accomplice and it was only the other day that police officials, who had apprehended the culprits within 24 hours, were rewarded. Everything is back to normal and share autos are plying as usual in Cyberabad limits. Techies, particularly women, however, are still wary for one reason. They allege that auto-drivers particularly at night are usually drunk.
Nikhil More’s captors too were drunk when they tried to abduct her. “There have been many instances when the driver of the auto I was travelling in was drunk. Fortunately, nothing bad has ever happened but the point is that a drunk driver can also cause a road accident. Police should put a check on such auto-drivers,” says Sandhya, a software employee who regularly goes to Hitech City from Serilingampally. According to the Cyberabad Traffic Police, as many as 17,729 cases were booked for drunken driving in 2012. And in the first month of 2013, about 1,887 cases were booked. But, unlike the Hyderabad Traffic Police which keeps a classification of violators based on the type of vehicle and age group etc, the Cyberabad Traffic Police do not have such specific date available. “As of now, we do not have the classification of drunken driving offenders. But, from now onwards, we will keep a classification in drunk driving cases,” said additional deputy commissioner of Cyberabad Traffic Police P Yadagiri.
The drive against drunken driving is conducted every day by 12 teams headed by sub-inspectors and on weekends, drives are led by inspectors. The 12 traffic police stations in Cyberabad have one breath analyser each. According to police, complaints against 4-seater auto-drivers are common. They range from robbery to harassment.
No traffic counselling schools in Cyberabad
Offenders booked for drunken driving are produced before second class magistrates and regular first class magistrates in the morning courts between 8 a.m and 10 a.m. The magistrate in addition to attending to the case is also burdened with the job of counselling the offenders.
“He explains the risk involved in drunken driving, consequences and losses for about half-an-hour, then fines the offenders and releases them. In some cases, offenders are imprisoned too,” said Yadagiri.
The Cyberabad Traffic Police does not have its own counselling schools for traffic offenders unlike the Hyderabad Traffic Police. “We have a traffic training centre at LB Nagar, which could be used for the counselling school. We intend to start one in the Madhapur area. Both should come up in another three months,” said Yadagiri.