Mumbai: If you thought traffic cops would suspend drink and drive checks owing to he the coronavirus outbreak, you guessed it wrong. Against the backdrop of the virus pandemic, people pan-globe have become cautious and stepping up their game to stay safe.
At such times, Mumbai traffic police, who were earlier reviewing whether or not to use the breathalysers for checks on drink driving have decided to go ahead with the daily checks, ensuring precautionary measures.
Madhukar Pandey, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, such important checks on the city streets cannot be given up amid COVID-19 scares in a large metropolis like Mumbai.
“We have issued guidelines to all the traffic divisions in the city to ensure they change the plastic nozzle after every motorist takes a test. After every test, if the plastic nozzle is changed, it does not pose a threat of contracting the disease,” said joint CP Pandey.
While the Pune traffic police has discontinued the breathalyser tests in the light of coronavirus, Mumbai traffic police is following the footsteps of Hyderabad police.
A senior traffic official clearing the misconception, said, “It is impractical to stop the breathanalyser checks as we do not let violators to get a free hand in the name of an epidemic.
We have trained our staff and ground personnel to take utmost care of their as well as public hygiene while asking people to blow in the breathalyser.
We do not let the machine come in contact with any violators directly, and they only ever come in contact with the replaceable plastic nozzles.”
Meanwhile, health experts disagree with the police’s decision to go ahead with the use of breathalysers at this stage, saying breath analyses should be avoided for some months as a precautionary move.
“Until coronavirus is not brought under control, police should avoid using breathalysers as they are not in a position to know whether the driver has corona symptoms,” said Dr Om Srivastava, infectious diseases expert, and head of Epidemiology Cell at BMC.
As the risk of contracting an infection is minimal for vehicle users, scores of traffic cops said they were the ones at a greater risk. Giving in to their demands, the traffic police personnel have been provided with masks and gloves to prevent transmission of the infection.