'Holi' campaign to check drunk & drive

Highlights

Highlighting an increase in road accidents and fatalities across north India, especially during the Holi season, a Delhi-based NGO has planned a massive campaign to check drunk driving during the festival

New Delhi: Highlighting an increase in road accidents and fatalities across north India, especially during the Holi season, a Delhi-based NGO has planned a massive campaign to check drunk driving during the festival.

It plans to mobilise drivers in Delhi to take a pledge against drinking and driving during the festival of colours.

"Holi is one of the most unsafe festival when road accident fatalities due to drunk driving, speeding stunt biking and rash driving are on the high," said Prince Singhal, road safety expert and founder of the NGO 'Community against Drunken Driving (CADD)'.

It has initiated the "Pledge Not to Drink and Drive" campaign to sensitise commercial vehicle drivers to be responsible towards other road users during the festival, a statement issued by the CADD said.

Singhal said about 11,000 motorists were prosecuted during the Holi week in 2018. The campaign has been initiated at five CNG stations in Delhi -- Jail Road, Dwarka Sector 20, Sarai Kale Khan, Pragati Maidan and CGO complex, it said.

"Drunk driving has become a regular practice in metros like Delhi, especially rising during festivals like Holi with almost one in every five drivers driving drunk. With underage drinking on a high and rising by almost 18 per cent every year, the number of drunk drivers rises by shocking numbers every year," Singhal said.

He said Delhi reports around 12,000 accidents annually with over 1,875 road accident deaths, out of which nearly 1,500 deaths are due to drunk driving.

"Delhi is India's worst city in terms of fatal road accidents and 73.1 per cent of the accidents are due to the driver's fault," Singhal said, adding that drunk driving is the single largest cause responsible for fatal road accidents.

He said nearly 50 per cent of head injuries at trauma centres at night are due to alcohol-related crashes. "Nearly 67 per cent of all night time accidents are due to alcohol-related traffic accidents," the activist said.

Drunk driving kills close to 1,00,000 people annually in India and is the single largest road safety hazard, the NGO said.

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