Cases of drunken driving sent to court seeking jail terms for violators; 5,000 drunken drivers booked this year of which 3,161 were convicted
PANJIM: Transport Department has decided to come down heavily on drivers of government vehicles for violating traffic rules. A meeting of the State Road Safety Council headed by Transport Minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar decided to suspend licenses of the drivers caught using mobile phones while driving government vehicles, including Kadamba buses.
“Any driver caught using a mobile phone while driving government vehicles will face suspension of license for a minimum six months. The warning is also applicable to Kadamba bus drivers. We will not let anyone in government service violate traffic laws,” the minister said after the council meeting held in Panjim on Friday.
Goa Police has launched an extensive drive against the traffic violators, particularly against those caught driving under the influence of alcohol, talking/messaging on mobile phone while riding/driving, over speeding, jumping red lights, etc. For other offences like involvement in fatal accidents, Traffic Department sends a separate list to Transport Department recommending action against the violator.
To curtail the increasing number of road accidents and fatalities the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety in 2015 had issued directions to suspend the driving license for a period of not less than three months of the drivers/riders committing traffic violation such as driving/riding at an excessive speed (over-speeding), jumping of red light traffic signal, carrying overload in goods carriage, carrying persons in goods carriage, drunken driving/riding and using mobile phone while driving/riding.
In another move, the department has begun sending cases of drunken driving to the court seeking jail terms for the violators. As per statistics shared by Traffic Department, over 5,000 drunken drivers have been booked this year till date of which around 3,161 violators have been convicted. Some were let off with a fine while others were sentenced till the rising of the court and even imprisonment ranging from one day to 10 days.
Meanwhile, the government has proposed to carry out compulsory safety audit of the new highway works which is worth Rs 10 crore and above. The Transport Minister further said they will come out with a strategy or policy against roads with potholes and that a tender for 10 road safety interceptors is floated.