276,133 drunk drivers booked in valley so far

Kathmandu, September 30

Anti-drink driving is one of the sustained campaigns being conducted by traffic police in Kathmandu valley. It was launched on December 3, 2011 and still continues.

According to statistics released by Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, it booked as many as 276,133 persons so far for driving under the influence since it launched the crackdown on drink-driving.

Senior Superintendent of Police Basant Kumar Pant, MTPD acting in-charge, said the special campaign had not only helped reduce road accidents likely to be caused by drink-driving, but also led to collection of more than Rs 270 million in revenue from the offenders. The MTPD punishes each offender of drink-driving with a fine of Rs 1,000.

The crackdown came in the wake of increasing number of road accidents associated with drink-driving in the valley. The existing law does not say anything about alcohol limit and thus the law enforcement agency has adopted zero tolerance policy towards drink-driving. Statistics suggest that the most remarkable achievement of the drive against drink-driving is a significant decrease in road accidents.

A total of 133 people were killed in 2014-15 compared to 143 in 2013-14. However, the fatality rates have gone up since — 166 in  2015-16, 182 in 2016-17 and 194 in 2017-18. SSP Pant claimed that there were many other reasons of road fatalities in addition to drink-driving.

“In 2017-18, we recorded 6,581 road accidents of which only 221 were attributed to drink-driving. Earlier, road accidents associated with drink-driving were higher,” he said.

MTPD informed that speeding, carelessness of the drivers, passengers and pedestrians, overload, mechanical breakdown and drink-driving were the leading causes of road accidents. As part of the crackdown on drink-driving, the MTPD had recommended the concerned transport management office to suspend licences of nearly 58 drivers after they were caught driving under the influence for the sixth time during the current fiscal.

According to Section 60 of Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act-1993, if a driver violates traffic rules for more than five times, the authority may suspend the driving licence of such drivers in the sixth instance on the basis of the number of punch holes in the licence.