The surge in Covid cases had reduced the scale of Kolkata police’s drive against drink driving but Saturday night’s fatal accident in Jadavpur in south Kolkata has led Lalbazar to instruct officers to be more strict in prosecuting offenders.
Police said Rahul Banerjee, who was driving the Honda City that rammed into the tea stall in Jadavpur, killing one person and injuring six, was in a drunken state.
The ongoing surge in Covid cases has prompted the suspension of breathalyser tests for a few days. The police resumed the use of the machine last week to curb drink driving in the city.
In the last four days, 131 motorists were prosecuted in Kolkata and the majority of cases were reported from areas under the East and South traffic guards, which cover major thoroughfares like Park Street, Shakespeare Sarani, AJC Bose Road, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, the Maidan, Red Road and the Park Circus crossing.
“We have asked the cops on duty to be strict with those found guilty of drink driving and prosecute all of them,” said a senior officer of Kolkata police.
At present, only the officers who have taken the booster jab against Covid are being deployed to scan drivers with breathalysers.
During a breathalyser test, a motorist is asked to blow air through a pipe attached to the machine, which detects the presence of alcohol in the person’s blood.
During the pandemic, the police have been using disposable straws to blow air into the machine to avoid multiple people blowing through the same pipe.
Many officers said the suspension of the breathalyser test during the pandemic had led to many motorists flouting the drink driving rule.
“We had to resume the breathalyser test as many were taking advantage of the situation. Despite all awareness drives, some people do not understand that driving intoxicated not only endangers the lives of the occupants of the car but also that of pedestrians,” said an officer.
Several officers in the traffic department said many motorists found drunk seek pardon citing women and children in the car, saying if they are prosecuted, their families would be harassed on the road.
Hours after the death of a 50-year-old father of two in Jadavpur on Saturday night, senior officers said prosecution against drink driving would be made more strict to avert such offences.
“Many motorists feel they would not be asked to undergo the breathalyser test if there is a woman or children in the car. Officers have been told not to accept any excuse,” said an officer of the traffic department on Sunday.
Many people lost their lives to reckless driving in the city. Some of the persons at the wheel involved in fatal accidents were drunk. Metro compiles a list of some of the car crashes in Calcutta in the recent past
January 22, 2022
One person died and six were injured after a Honda City rams into a tea stall in Jadavpur. The man behind the wheels was found to be intoxicated
November 6, 2021
One man died and at least six persons were injured after being hit by an allegedly speeding Hyundai i20, which flouted a traffic signal at the Chingrighata intersection
December 14, 2020
A 23-year-old engineering graduate driving a Volkswagen Polo hit a cyclist while trying to avert a collision with a guardrail on Prince Anwar Shah Road and knocked down a pedestrian before ramming into a lamp post. The driver was allegedly intoxicated
August 17, 2019
A Jaguar F-PACE had jumped a red light at the intersection of Theatre Road and Loudon Street and crashed into a Mercedes, sending it hurtling into two Bangladeshi visitors waiting near a police kiosk and killing them on the spot
December 18, 2016
A 22-year-old college student riding a scooter was hit by an E Class Mercedes Benz. The incident led to vandalism inside Fort Oasis where the accused lived
January 13, 2016
An Audi Q7 had mowed down an air force corporal during a Republic Day parade rehearsal near Red Road.