Late night drink-drive checks to restart in Chandigarh
Even though nakas will be set up in a few days, breathalysers to test drivers’ blood-alcohol levels will not be usedUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 01:48 IST
The traffic police plan to restart its late night drink-drive checks and penalise offenders for the first time since March 10 after breathalyser use was suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak to prevent its transmission, officiating senior superintendent of police (SSP-traffic) Manoj Kumar Meena has confirmed.
However, even though nakas will be set up in a few days, breathalysers to test drivers’ blood-alcohol levels will not be used.
“Ever since traffic has normalised and bars have opened in the city, we had been studying how traffic police in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi are working to restart nakas and challans for drunken driving. A meeting was held with all traffic deputy superintendents of police (DSPs) and other stakeholders on Thursday in which the decision to start late night nakas has been taken,” Meena said.
Double zigzag nakas to be set up
With breathalysers still not being used, the police plan to set up double zigzag nakas with barriers instead of the easily negotiable ‘S’ shaped checkpoint to easily detect those driving under the influence. “They will have trouble negotiating the turns, and we will be closely monitoring driver behaviour. Anyone who behaves suspiciously will be stopped and if the cops suspect the driver of being drunk he or she can be taken for a medical test to measure their blood alcohol percentage,” said Meena.
The new checking system with double barriers will also prevent instances of drivers ramming their cars into nakas and escaping or injuring policemen in the process,” he added.
Effectiveness remains to be seen
Such nakas are needed urgently, said Kamal Soi, a member of National Road Safety Council, adding that their effectiveness had to be ascertained. “Rather than allowing an intoxicated person to get inside the car, a vigil can be maintained outside markets with a lot of bars. Anyone who seems to be intoxicated can be stopped before he can drive the car and endanger himself or others,” Soi suggested.
Harman Sidhu, member, UT Road Safety Council, advised: “Anyone who the traffic police suspects of being drunk should be made to walk in a straight line as is done in some Western countries. This is also an effective way of determining whether someone is drunk.”