Don’t drive yourself to darkness
With cases of drunk driving on the rise, commuters need to take more precautionary measures to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol. Café explores further
Of late, the rising fatalities on Goan roads have highlighted a need for the state to step up its efforts to curb cases of drunk driving. In spite of a variety of methods being tried, from educating people to legislative changes, the problem of drunk driving persists. Adding to it, the lack of convenient public transport system has hurt Goa where it hurts the most – tourism and nightlife. While it has been long since Goa has been grappling with this issue, it may be interesting to note that Hyderabad led the way in curbing this menace in September 2016, followed by Kolkata. The state government has ordered for breathalysers to be made compulsory in bars and nightclubs in Kolkata in order to prevent intoxicated customers from getting behind the wheels and causing accidents. Furthermore, bar authorities have been instructed to have a pool of drivers waiting outside their clubs ready to take home drunken revelers. The grip of police authorities is also stricter in Bengaluru where the cops are rather ‘infamous’ to be immune to bribe offers. Nitin Chandra, a Ponda lad now working in the IT city, says, “The fines are heavy and repeated offence can also result in temporary or permanent cancellation of driving license. This has led to a sense of seriousness among party revelers who more often than not prefer not to push their luck by driving under the influence of alcohol. Not to mention, all the above states either have a good public transport system or the convenience of cabs – both of which are absent in Goa.” Prakash Naik, a school teacher based out of Margao, says, “More awareness needs to be raised, especially among the youth about the severity of drunk driving. Parents too should go a step ahead and ensure that their kids don’t take the wrong step.” Time and again the unregulated taxi system in Goa finds itself in news for all the wrong reasons and rightly so. The absence of radio-app based taxis is hurting Goa in more ways than one, and a robust taxi system is not a luxury anymore but sheer necessity. Pravin Govekar, a management professional working in Verna, says, “It is shame that the state authorities have been bowing down to the unfair demands of the taxi mafia. Their inability to nip the loot and unethical business practices in the bud has given Goa a bad name on more than one occasion. A sound public transport system will go a long way in helping reduce cases of drunk driving to a large extent.”
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