Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Some Lessons Learnt from Janhavi Gadkar Incident

Some Lessons Learnt from Janhavi Gadkar Incident

Let’s accept it. Indian women drink alcohol.  And they too should be checked for drink and drive.

Men with babies or children in the car too could be driving drunk. There is no basis to the presumption of someone’s responsible behaviour. Often the traffic police let go vehicles with women or children in it, presuming the driver to be responsible enough to be sober. This presumption can be a blunder and there is no point in waiting for instances to occur before taking punitive/preventive measures.

CCTV is a necessity on our roads and the authorities should give it some serious thought. It could assist in timely action. Besides, having the cameras with some monitoring system in place will ease up police investigation and evidence collection.

There should be more scientific ways to test the drivers for drink and drive. A mere breathe test is not just humiliating for the traffic police but it also leaves scope for subjective/intuitive decision that is open to challenge and often involves a lot of nuisance from the offended drivers arguing with police personnel.

There should be more awareness created among the people about the difference between legal limits of alcohol consumption and drink and drive. The general notion suggests that one can drive if he/she has had drinks within legal limits. It is important to know that legal limits vary in different states and that impairment can be caused at different levels even below the legal limits of alcohol consumption. Legal limit in no way allows you to drive after a specific number/kind of drinks. It is scientifically proven even the modest amount of alcohol can lead to impaired vision and motor skills. Thus, the traffic police should consider levying fine on drink and drive irrespective of amount of alcohol consumed. This will act as deterrence.

Rigorous checking on weekends/ festivals and holidays is certainly an effective measure. However, on all other days there should be proper monitoring with continuous and regular checks. It is important to promote awareness on the lines of social behaviour and responsibility without making it an issue of self image or taboo.