In response to the incident of a young Mumbai woman killing two people in a suspected case of drinking while driving early on Saturday morning we asked readers to send us suggestions on what must young people do to stop such tragedies that destroy lives.
Get Ahead readers Abhishek Rungta (who lost two of his friends in a case of drinking and driving), Ganesh Thorali Kuppuswamy, Jitesh, Shankar Ramanthan, Alok Malhotra, R K Pradhan, Salil, Bennet Paes, Vidyasagar Ayyappan, and Mangesh Mehenge wrote in immediately with their valuable suggestions.
Here are what their valuable suggestions are and if implemented could surely help save a few lives to say the least:
Abhishek Rungta: Post cops at the parking lots of all the discotheques, pubs, hotels
I think the best way to stop drunken driving is make our laws very strict. Ours is a very populated nation and it's not possible to stop everyone from drinking and driving.
Last year I lost 2 of my friends in a road accident on Gurgaon Express Highway when one of them was completely drunk and smashed his Skoda Octavia on a stationed truck on the highway. That incident has made me very careful.
I now ensure that I drink within limits when I have to drive back. I guess people will learn when they lose someone close to them in accidents but our laws can be stricter for such incidents.
One thing that I can suggest is we can post cops (with breath analyser that gives an immediate idea about the levels of alcohol in one's blood) at the parking lots of all the discotheques, pubs, hotels or for that matter wherever liquor is available.
The work of these cops would be to check all the people leaving these social places and to let them drive only if they are in a fit condition to drive. People who exceeded the permissible limit should have drivers with them; if they don't have a driver ask them to take public conveyance.
I know this is not possible in all places because many people drink at home and then hit the roads but at least this can be done at social and commercial places.
People who are found to do drunk and driving should be penalised heavily as they have no rights to risk others' lives. We can do a lot to save us from such targedies if the goverment is willing to use some extra manpower.
Ganesh Thorali Kuppuswamy: Place some policemen at the gates of pub, clubs and liquor shop
The best way is to stop (people who drink and drive) at the place where they sell liqour mainly in pubs and clubs and liquor shops. Place some policemen at the gates of pub, clubs and liquor shop and stop them from driving if they are drunk.
Jitesh: The person should be booked for driving lessons and alcohol rehabilitation for a hefty charge which s/he is required to attend such sessions for a few weeks
There are a lot of simple things that can be done...
1. All the hotels/bars with valets must not give somebody's car unless they have one non-drunk person who can can drive with them. In case they don't have anyone with them who is fit to drive then there must be few professional drivers available for a charge. In case the owner of the car insists on drunken driving, hotels/bars should inform police before giving him the vehicle.
2. If caught doing drunk driving financial fine is not enough. The person should be booked for driving lessons and alcohol rehabilitation for a hefty charge which he is required to attend such sessions for a few weeks. That will teach and set her/him straight.
3. Finally, laws should be enforced strictly.
Shankar Ramanathan: Car companies can come with a technology that will allow the engine to start only after a person breathes near the steering wheel and confirm that there is no alcohol
1. Punishment should be stringent. Hefty fine and suspension of driving License for two year for alcohol limits up to specified limits. Beyond the specified limits imprisonment for three years, hefty fine and permanent suspension of driving license. There should be nothing like first-time offender or repeat offender. When somebody even attempts to hijack a plane, you dont't treat a person differently even if s/he is a first time offender. The offence should also be non-bailable.
2. When death is caused due to drunken driving, imprisonment for 15 years and permanent suspension of driving license. Also apart from insurance, the driver to pay monetary compensation to the affected party's family
3. Mandatory message to be put in steering wheel and driving license regards hazards of drunk driving.
4. Car companies can come with a technology which will allow the engine to start only after a person breathes near the steering wheel and confirm that there is no alcohol.
5. Bar owners/hotel owners to inform police if they know that person after patronising the bar is driving on her/his own. They should also take a declaration before serving patron that s/he will not drive after drinking.
Alok Malhotra: Impound the driving license of those who drink and drive
The vehicle and the driving license should be impounded for at least one month if somebody is found driving under the influence of excess alcohol or any other drugs. Once the vehicle and license is impounded it makes the person handicapped for one month, which is bigger punishment than monetary chalan.
R K Pradhan: Drunk drivers should lose 5 increments or one promotion which ever is earlier
In my opinion drunk driving can be minimised reasonably by following rules
1 First registration of drunk driving: Punishment as per the law of the land. Suspension of license for a period
of one year
2. Second registration of Drunk Driving for the same person: Punishment as per the law of the land: Cancellation of driving license for life.
Page 1 of the Driving License Book should be dedicated to this offence with the heading Drunk Driving.
Also, the person whose license has been cancelled on this ground can never apply for a new license. In case s/he applies with false documents s/he should get life imprisonment for this offence and officers helping him /her to get such documents should lose 5 increments or one promotion which ever is earlier.
Such cancellations should be published in the front page of at least two local dailies and one national daily in a clearly readable space with his / her photograph at the cost of the offender. The cover page of the license should read NO DRUNK DRIVING at the top. The officer helping to cover up the Drunk Driving should lose 10 increments
or two promotions which ever is more.
Salil: Driving under the influence of alcohol should be treated as 'with intent to kill'
The present laws in India seem too casual and so fail to act as a deterrent against drunken driving. The conviction rate is too low and delayed. What we need is more stringent laws that make such offenders fear the mere thought of drunken driving, which sadly is lacking today.
Probably the suggestions given below could be considered:
- Suspend the license for at least 3 years, imprisonment and a suitable fine, at the very 1st instance
- In case of 2nd time offence, the license should be revoked permanently
- In the event of death of anyone, the culprit should be charged with homicide and not culpable homicide. Driving under the influence of alcohol should be treated as 'With intent to Kill'.
- In the event of death or injury, the assests of the offenders should be seized and paid as suitable compensation to the victims or to the next of kin.
- Names and photographs of repeat offenders should be published in newspapers and their vehicle should be tracked on regular basis.
- In case of vehicles being registered in names of family members, the same law should be applicable, as to the offenders.
Also the police should be trained on how to handle such cases so that the proper process is followed to ensure a water tight case and swift conviction.
Bennet Paes: Don't drive if drunk
It's all about social conciousness. For example: A guy is invited to a party and gets loaded. I mean he is
drunk. His host or the others in the party who have been drinking sensibly and not drunk, must prevent him from
driving back home. In fact they must help him get back there (safely without causing injuries to others) by any means possible. That's what I mean by 'social consiousness' and this is what needs to be evoked in society.
If, on the other hand, friends pump in drinks until bottles get emptied without the least concern about driving home, that's what I call 'social irresponsibility' and awareness of it must be promoted in society.
That is the best way to avoid 'driving, if drunk', and not go on advising 'don't drink and drive'. This latter slogan is a JOKE.
Vidyasagar Ayyappan: Whether drunk or not, driving at over 50 kmph post 10 pm should be banned and heavily fined
There are no magical solutions to drunk-driving or over-speeding... the law-keepers: the police must pull up their socks.
Suggestions assume that unless forced, people in the city/ country won't budge.
- Whether drunk or not, driving at over 50 kmph post 10 pm should be banned and heavily fined
- Cars to have mandatory minute electronic sensors on the steering-wheel that can detect alcohol in breath with an external flash indicator. For e.g. an extra light to flash for everyone outside to see when a driver is under the influence of alcohol. These sensors to be made compulsory in all vehicles
- Change the law. If you are caught drunk, impose severe, non-bailable punishments
- Reward policemen handsomely to abolish bribing. Make their salaries variable. Every chalaan copy to yield a traffic policeman Rs 500 (indicative) and 100 such chalaans per month to get him a bonus of Rs 5,000 (indicative). Employ only educated people for the job. Policeman must be paid more than cricketers and actors, mostly in variable salary and just check how competent and educated they get overnight
- Media should highlight every case of drunk driving caught by the police, so that people are careful as hell.
Hope it helps.
Mangesh Mehenge: Keep one friend with you who doesn't drink and can drive
I am also quite upset with the incident.
Suugestion: The point is that people cannot stop drinking so whenever you plan such a party try to keep one friend with you who doesn't drink and can drive.
I think one friend is enough to take along 2 to 3 drunk people. We do apply this rule when we go out partying.
Share with us your suggestions on how we can eliminate drunken driving among young Indians and how we can bring safety to self and others on the road.