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Enhance punishment for drunk driving, says VC


Bar owners should make combined efforts to educate customers

Expressing concern over increasing deaths in road accidents caused by drunken drivers, Nitte University Vice Chancellor Dr V Shantaram Shetty called for enhancing punishment for such offences.

He was speaking after inaugurating the 24th national road safety week jointly organised by the district administration, the Transport Department and the Police Department at Town Hall on Monday. He said that though many lose their lives in accident cases, the law is lenient for the drunk and drive cases and the accused are easily given bail. Hence, amendments should be made in the law to make the punishment more stringent, he said.

Giving out a few statistics, Dr Shetty said of the 50 crore accidents occur in the world every year and on an average 1.10 crore people lose their lives. Of them, India accounts for one crore accidents and 1.2 lakh deaths. At least one death is reported in every six minutes in the country. Having this high rate of accidents, drivers should drive safely, considering the importance of lives of the other travellers and pedestrians. “Every driver has to develop a feeling of empathy towards other fellow-beings which would lead to safe driving and less accidents,” he suggested.

Chief guest of the programme, IGP (Western Range) Pratap Reddy too stressed on the responsibility of the people to follow the traffic rules. “Nearly 90 per cent of the time of traffic police is spent on enforcement of the rules and guidelines and only 10 per cent is spent on traffic flow management. If citizens act responsibly, police could spend more time on enforcement and other constructive purpose,” he said.

Taking a note of drunk and drive cases, he said the bar and restaurant owners should educate and advice the customers to drive home safe.

If all the bars and restaurants take up a combined initiative to educate their customers for a fixed duration, it would definitely reduce the accident cases. The IGP asked the private bus drivers to respect other drivers too by making way for them to overtake. He said that a large number of deaths in India happen due to accidents, compared to other crimes.

First aid boxes were distributed to some selected auto rickshaw stands. Deputy Speaker N Yogish Bhat presided over.

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