Licence of 348 drunk drivers suspended

Kathmandu, August 26

Traffic police have recommended concerned transport management offices to suspend licences of more than 348 drivers after they were caught driving under the influence for the sixth time.

Metropolitan Traffic Police Division had stepped up crackdown on driving under the influence on December 7, 2012, stating that a fine of Rs 1‚000 and mandatory attendance of a 20-minute lecture on traffic safety could not deter drunk drivers in Kathmandu Valley.

According to Section 60 of Motor Vehicle and Transport Management Act-1993, if a driver violates traffic rules more than five times, competent authority may suspend his/her licence in the sixth instance. Seizure of a licence having five holes can be referred to transport management offices for suspension for up to six months under Section 60 of the act. Traffic cops punch a hole on the bottom left corner of the licence each time drivers are caught driving under the influence.

Traffic police said they have punched holes on 146,496 licences since December 2012. Of them, 110,021 have one hole, 24,400 two holes, 7,954 three holes, 2,753 four holes and 978 five holes. Similarly, MTPD sent 348 licences to the concerned transport management offices for suspension after their holders were caught driving under the influence for the sixth time.

Around 2,50,000 persons have been booked after traffic police launched the crackdown on drink-driving on December 3, 2011.

DIG Sarbendra Khanal, MTPD in-charge, said the special campaign had helped reduce road accidents likely to be caused by drink-driving. The existing law does not say anything about alcohol limit and thus the law enforcement agency has adopted zero tolerance policy against drink-driving. DIG Khanal said speeding; drink-driving; carelessness of the drivers and passengers; overload and mechanical breakdown were the leading causes of road accidents.