A random check finds 21 drivers in an inebriated condition while on duty

Bosses in the State-run RTC are a worried lot these days after coming to know about stray cases of corporation drivers being intoxicated while at the wheel. The officials were in for a shock when a random check on drivers found at least 21 drivers in an inebriated condition while on duty.

Authorities have now decided to buy more sophisticated breath analysers to help them check the problem. Authorities expect to equip themselves with the latest breath analysers in two months. The drive to check drunken driving by RTC employees was launched recently as part of its ‘Accident free week’ celebrations. The tall claims about ‘RTC drivers do not drink on duty’ were exposed and one city bus driver was caught by passengers at Asifnagar in Hyderabad last week. The advantage with advanced breath analysers is that they issue legally permissible blood alcohol count reports. The analysers that are presently being used by authorities lack this facility, says RTC Vigilance and Security Director V.V. Srinivasa Rao.

They only display the alcohol content and a doctor certification is required to support it. The advanced version costs Rs.70,000 each and the RTC plans to acquire 20 breath analysers in next two months.

Despite claims of stringent measures to curb drunken driving menace, some drivers continue to violate the rules. Authorities claim that each depot is equipped with a breath analyser and security personnel check the drivers for any alcohol consumption before they get into a bus.

There is every possibility of the drivers consuming alcohol after leaving the depot or midway through the journey . This tendency is more among drivers on long distance routes, explains another officer.

To control this, authorities would conduct surprise checks at different locations. Special drives would be conducted regularly in the future and severe action, including suspension from duty would be initiated against errant drivers, says Mr. Rao.

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