Keeping a check on daytime drunk driving difficult, say traffic policeAs per the traffic police, excessive vehicular movement, lack of enough human resources and equipment are the major obstacles
Early Saturday morning at around 6am, a car [Ba 11 Cha 3604] coming from Keshar Mahal crashed so fiercely into the railing of a footpath in Jamal that the car rolled over and the engine was ejected. Fortunately, there were no fatalities.
The car was being driven by Bijen Duwal Shrestha and had two other passengers. According to traffic police, Shrestha was drunk.
“The vehicle was speeding and the driver was drunk. The car crashed when it tried to swerve from crashing into a motorcycle it was overtaking,” Inspector Daya Krishna Bhatta of Metropolitan Traffic Police Sector, Durbarmarg, told the Post.
“Looking at the car’s condition, the accident should have been fatal, but none of the passengers sustained life-threatening injuries,” said Bhatta.
According to Bhatta, Shrestha is likely to face action for drunk driving.
The data of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division shows that 89 vehicles face legal action for drunk driving every day in the Valley. As of May 14 of the Fiscal Year 2018-19, 26,598 individuals have been fined for the crime.
As per the division, they have been conducting regular checking in 36 different places across the Valley effectively from 7 pm to around 3 am.
“The checking is effective during night time, as the roads are empty and stopping vehicles won’t cause any traffic congestion. However, carrying out MaPaSe during the daytime is not so easy,” Senior Superintendent of Police Basanta Kumar Pant, chief of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, told the Post. “Stopping vehicles for checking would affect the overall vehicular movement in the city.”
Despite the difficulties in conducting effective checking during the daytime, traffic police say that they have been conducting random checking over suspicious drivers and vehicles during the day.
“Some vehicles are pulled over on the side of the road and the driver is checked. But with thousands of vehicles plying the road, it is difficult to monitor all the vehicles,” said Pant.
According to the division, out of 3,250,042 vehicles registered across the country in the last fiscal year, 1,184,907 were registered alone in Bagmati zone.
“Along with excessive vehicular movement, lack of enough human resources and equipment are also the other obstacles in conducting effective checking of MaPaSe during daytime,” Superintendent of Police Rabindra Kumar Poudel, spokesperson of the division, told the Post.
Another difficulty to control daytime drunk driving is the lack of breathalysers. Around 80 percent of the breathalysers used to check the alcohol intake of drivers in the Capital is said to be not working properly.
The Nepal Police data shows that 311 out of 10,965 accidents registered across the country in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 were due to cases of drunk driving. Similarly, 249 accidents in 2016-17, 245 accidents in 2015-16, 297 accidents in 2014-15 and 312 accidents in 2013-14 were the result of drunk driving.
“In order to minimise similar accidents like the one in Jamal, we are looking for an effective way to control drink and drive across the day despite the recent obstacles,” said Poudel.