Drunken driving is considered as the main reason for the majority of the accidents occurring across the State and the port city of Visakhapatnam is no exception in this regard. But for some strange / inexplicable reasons, the city police have not recorded the cases of accidents caused due to drunken driving over the past two to three years.
As per the police records, there is a constant rise in drunken driving cases since 2011.
In 2011, 4,642 cases of drunken driving were registered. In 2012, there were 6,508 cases. This year, 3,274 cases have been registered till May-end. But strangely, the traffic police claim that the increase in the number of cases is due to an increased vigilance and special drives taken up by them. Perhaps they mean that more and more cases are being booked now unlike in the past.
“Accidents involving drunkards were also registered along with drunken driving cases but for some unknown reasons, accident cases were not categorised separately over the last couple of years. However, we suspect that 10 to 15 per cent of the total cases registered would be accident cases. We are now making efforts to collect the data pertaining to accidents caused due to drunken driving and create awareness among public. The exercise is likely to be finished shortly,” Commissioner of Police B Shivadhar Reddy told Express.
Soon after he took charge, Shivadhar Reddy launched a special campaign named ‘Arrive-Alive’ in January this year with the aim of educating people about the traffic rules. Awareness has been created on the importance of using helmets, avoiding drunken driving, etc., to reduce the number under the city police commissionerate limits.
The police have also successfully instilled fear among the denizens against drunken driving as that will mean the culprits getting caught and ending up in court.
Special drives are organised at major junctions, including Siripuram, Waltair Park, LIC Building, NAD and Beach Road during late nights to prevent drunken driving. If any person is found to have consumed alcohol beyond permissible limits, he/she is arrested and the vehicle is seized immediately. “Once caught, the culprit will have to appear in the court in person and pay necessary fine to get his/her vehicle released. Appearing in a court acts as a deterrent for them,” said ADCP (Traffic).