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Survey reveals 50 pc road accidents result of drunken driving

Sep 08, 2008 02:25 AM IST India India

New Delhi: As darkness falls on the capital, the streets are full of trucks, tankers and state transport buses. There are no stop signs, no speed limits and as the heavy vehicles go zig zag on the roads, it is hard to ignore the disturbing reality – most drivers behind the wheels are drunk and no one checks them. After Sanjeev Nanda was convicted in the BMW hit-and-run-case, people thought that this would help in curbing instances of drunken driving. But, what about the truck drivers who drink and drive. Nearly 70 per cent of the country's goods are transported by trucks. With such heavy movement of traffic across the country, it becomes all the more mandatory for the agencies and police to monitor their movement on the road. Most of the trucks begin their journey from dhabas on the highway and after a good meal and a few pegs down the drivers are ready for the road. It is a dangerous trend that has been going on for ages. A recent survey in Delhi found that drivers of more than 45 per cent of the vehicles which meet accidents had consumed alcohol and 50 per cent of the road accidents happen because of drinking and driving. But while the police crack down on errant drivers in some big cities, there are absolutely no checks conducted on highways for drivers of heavy vehicles. Some policemen on duty told CNN-IBN that they only follow state orders and unless the instructions come from higher authorities they don’t stop heavy vehicles for checking. However, the top cops completely denied the allegation that there are no tests of liquor levels, speed limit and basic vehicle papers. "All seven days of the week we carry out drunken driving for the truck drivers. We check them for other offences as well,” says Joint Commissioner Traffic S N Srivastava.