If you think that roads are safer with the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD)also keeping a tab on drunken driving, you are mistaken. For, the claim of the Police Department proves otherwise. The officials allege that the MVD has failed in taking legal action against several people booked for drunken driving. For instance, action has not been taken against people who have been booked by the police even thrice from Vytilla junction.
“We report the drunken driving cases before the MVD but the department hesitates to take action as per law against the erring drivers. Recently, I booked two people three times and a person twice for drunken driving. One was a driver of a private water tanker and the other was a lorry driver of a branded rice company. Also, I have booked a doctor of a reputed hospital near Edappally who is staying near Vyttila junction twice for drunken driving. Though there are provisions to either suspend or cut their licence, I see them race through the junction without facing any legal action. This will only encourage the dangerous habit,” said Edappally Traffic Sub-Inspector M M Aboobakar, who is monitoring drunk driving in a 50-metre area around Vyttila junction. Officials with Ernakulam traffic police said that the Traffic Department and MVD were working together to curb drunk driving. “However, there is some delay on the part of the MVD in taking legal action against the drunken drivers. The MVD must ensure quick action in such cases,” said an official with the traffic police.
Ernakulam RTO B J Antony said that the MVD was bent on taking stringent action against the drunken drivers. “If traffic officials submit any evidence against the people who are evading punishment after being booked for drunken driving, we are ready to take necessary against them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sub-inspector said though they are closely monitoring drunk driving, the practice was on the rise in the city. He said that they have booked as many as 1,000 people for drunken driving from Vytilla junction alone from March 1 to October 10.
The list includes, 12 Kerala State Road Transport Corporation bus drivers, drivers of 70 private buses, 162 autorickshaws, 340 cars, 276 motorcycles, 111 tipper lorry and other light weight vehicles, three tourist buses and five ambulances. According to the sub-inspector, drunken driving by private bus drivers and luxury car owners was increasing by the day. “The private bus drivers are confident that they can easily free themselves from the legal cases as bus owners or their association will come to their rescue while the luxury car owners are ready to pay any amount but can’t abide by the law,” Aboobakar said. He also added that the drunken driving statistics was showing a decline in the case of auto drivers. The officials working at Vyttila watch tower include Anil K V, Shyam R Menon, Shijumon, D Sunil Kumar, Shinoj, P Maheshan and Lathikan.