Get Ahead readers Ravi Rawal, Roopak Jakhmola, Raj S, Amit Aggarwal, Chandra Dubey and an anonymous reader wrote with their valuable suggestions.
If implemented these could surely help save a few lives to say the least:
Ravi Rawal: Impose heavy fines and confiscate vehicles
If someone is caught driving drunk:
- Suspend their driving license for six months. If it is repeated, extend the suspension to two years
- Confiscate the driver's vehicle for a week
- Hefty spot fine of minimum Rs 10,000
Drunk driving accident resulting into accidental deaths:
- Make it a non-bailable offence
- Cancel driver's license for life
- Fast-track court rulings and compensation by the offender to the family of victim(s)
- Community service will not work in our country. People always know how to pay up and avoid the same.
Most offenders are in the age group of 24 and 34. So inculcating awareness at college-level should help as well.
On the other side of the spectrum: we need good breath analysers, offenders' right to know his "breath analyser" reading upfront and on-the-spot blood collecting sample kits so blood can be tested immediately after a drunk-driving accidental death case.
Roopak Jakhmola: Hire a driver
This indeed is a serious issue, which unfortunately is taken very casually by the young and the old. When we are abroad we suddenly become very conscious about this and in our own country we take things for granted. Obviously our lax law enforcement has contributed to this. This problem got me thinking that this education will take its own time, but people need an alternative solution to the problem. I would say that if you do know for certain that you will be drinking, hire a driver who will drive you around in your car and will be at your disposal.
Raj S: Enforce traffic laws without bias or mercy
Traffic laws must be enforced uniformly and without any bias or mercy. The most famous cases in the recent past were of the Nanda's and Salman Khan. Salman Khan ran over four people sleeping on the streets of Mumbai and is still walking free. Such examples do not instil confidence in the system.
Amit Aggarwal: How about self regulation?
In India we boast how we can still drive after four to five drinks! That mentality has to change, driving after drinking is not brave but foolish. A public campaign saying losers drink and drive (some thing on those lines etc) followed by strict implementations of law, no bail and on-the-spot fine will deter a lot of youngsters who do that.
Chandra Dubey: Issue licenses after proper tests
The first step to control drunk driving is by issuing driving licenses properly after proper tests. The next step is computerising and interconnecting all RTOs so that people who are caught cannot get another driving license by greasing a few palms.
All this is fine but is the government doing anything to improve the condition of the roads and regulating traffic properly like other developed countries? Increasing the fine when caught drunk driving is a very superficial step that will never solve the problem -- it is just another indirect tax of owning a vehicle!
Anon: Start an ad campaign
City taxis must be promoted and have posters advertising "You drink, I'll drive"!
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.
Write in to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line -- Stop drunk driving today! -- and we will publish them, right here. We want to hear from you!