Mumbai: Amidst a rise in fatal road accidents in the city, Mumbai Traffic Police have written to the Regional Transport Office (RTO), urging the cancellation of licences for motorists caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
Recent incidents include the tragic death of 58-year-old jogger Rajalaxmi Ramkrishnan, a resident of Matunga, who was fatally struck by a 23-year-old allegedly drunk driver on Worli seaface. Another accident in the same month claimed the life of a three-year-old girl at Bandra-Kurla Complex flyover, caused by a 54-year-old intoxicated man. Furthermore, a bus accident on Samruddhi Expressway in Buldhana district resulted in 26 fatalities, with a forensic report indicating that the bus driver was under the influence of alcohol.
448 e-challans issued for drunk driving since Jan
According to a report by the Free Press Journal, Mumbai traffic police have issued 448 e-challans to motorists caught drunk driving from January to July. Joint Commissioner of Traffic Police, Praveen Padwal, emphasized the need for stricter action, stating that suspending licences temporarily is insufficient, as offenders may repeat the offense. Cancelling their licences would have a more significant impact.
Padwal also mentioned that the traffic department has reached out to the state excise department, requesting the placement of boards, messages, and directions for buyers outside liquor shops to raise awareness.
Nakabandis, conducted weekly by local traffic police, have significantly reduced cases of drunk driving, according to traffic officials.
Regarding the legal provisions, Section 19 of the Motor Vehicle Act grants the licensing authority the power to disqualify or revoke a person's driving licence. Currently, the RTO suspends a motorist's licence for six months if found guilty three times. If the offender violates another traffic norm, such as running a red signal, the licence can be permanently cancelled. However, the traffic police must inform the RTO with details of the violations for this action to be taken.