Ban liquor sale on highways to lessen accidents!
The Supreme Court has called for a complete ban on sale of liquor along national and state highways. It has given a deadline of April 1 to all liquor shops located at a distance of 500 meters from the edge of the highway to close down. Even if the highway passes through a municipal area or a town, the alcohol shops will be closed down within the aforementioned range from highways.
Around 1.5 lakh people are killed every year in road accidents and the reason for most of these accidents is drunk driving. The move is definitely a positive one but is it enough to lessen or prevent accidents that happen every day in one or the other highway?Yes1. Big vehicle drivers:
Bigger lorry and trucks cause the most of highway accidents. The drivers of these vehicles are poor people, usually with lesser concern for safety issues that arise out of drunk driving. A report suggests that almost all truck and bus drivers drink and drive. Government has been trying to keep a check on issuing license to these drivers but to no effect. Ensuring that there is no availability of liquor shops on the highway could be a great measure to help them quit. 2. Distraction to those trying to quit:
Recovering alcoholics are the worst. Even if these drivers try to curb the desire to drunk so as to avoid getting caught at check points and losing their license and jobs, the availability of liquor shops along the highway and their advertisement banners entice them back into the trap of death. These are tired people who do not have much expectation from life. Some of them are known to drive for days and nights on a single go. They are much easier to fall back into drinking if there is availability of liquor nearby.No1. What about drugs?
Both booze and drugs are common among truckers in India. Poor working condition and less stringent check are the reason why they haven’t stopped even after years of protest. They do not get drugs and booze on the highway. If they want it, they can easily have it. Banning liquor shop along the highway wouldn’t make them recover, not until stringent measures are taken along with it.2. They will still have it:
They have people who would arrange for their booze when they want it. They will pay a local boy to get it from the shops after 500 meters from highway. It is not even 1 km that would bother them to make it think as a very long distance before they can fall into the habit that is usually an addiction for them. 3. Where will all the alcohols go?
There are huge numbers of liquor shops along the national and state highways because they must be doing good business there. These are the people who have been protesting on the ban. They will find the illegal way to supply alcohol to the drivers. Put a ban on anything and people have natural instincts to have it more than ever. 4. Recklessness:
Yes, most of the accidents on highways are a result of drunken driving but is drunker driving a result of liquor shops along the highways? Definitely, no. There are plenty of reasons why there is no reduction on drunken driving. We do not have stringent laws and whatever little we have there is no proper implementation of them. 5. Why not cancel more licenses?
Unlike other developed countries there is not much done about cancelling the license of those who drink and drive. They are easily left to go with a small bribery to fill the tummy of the officers in charge. In US, if a driver is caught going to the bar where he might not even have drunk, he is more likely to lose his job. In India, there is no such screening while hiring. Poor people work under poor conditions with very little pay. 6. Bad roads:
Highways are not in very good condition in India. There are potholes and less broad space where vehicles try overtaking each other. There aren’t enough speed checkers in most areas. Even if a person is drunk, like most lorry drivers, they are more likely to remain in their limits if they have the fear of losing their license and job but unfortunately that is not the case here.
Road accidents are a much bigger problem in India than it is shown to be. People die. Banning alcohol shops within 500 meters range from highway to lessen accidents is like trying to deal with a mad elephants with a string of thread. It needs bigger moves and more bigger implication procedure.