Drunk driving among schoolbus, ambulance drivers on rise

Bengaluru: There has been a sharp increase in cases of drivers of school buses and ambulances getting caught for drunken driving. These erring drivers are not only risking their lives, but also that of school children and patients.

According to the data provided by the traffic police, the number such cases have steadily increased from 12 in 2015 to 17 in 2016, but it 2017 it jumped to 55. In the year 2018, six such cases have already been registered.

As a preventive measure, Additional Commissioner (Traffic) R. Hitendra has sent circulars to the schools and hospitals, suggesting them to keep breathalyzers and subject the drivers to regular tests, as it is impossible for the police officers to check each and every vehicle in city.

He further said the schools and hospitals should keep tabs on their drivers and do a proper background check before hiring them.

“It is very difficult for us to conduct special drives only for school buses and ambulances as it will not bring good impression on us, when we stop them and tell the drivers to take breathalyzer test in front of children or while there are ferrying patients,” he added.

Nagasimha G. Rao, Director, Child Rights Trust said that most of the time drivers don't feel connected with the institution and often end up drinking and driving as a stress buster. 

This can be prevented when the institutions take initiatives and conduct some awareness programmes for drivers. “Be it schools or hospitals, they should consider the drivers as one amongst them, so that they feel part of the institution which can remind them of their duties and responsibilities,” he added.

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