Cops to use breathalyser, speed guns soon

IMPHAL, 15th Sep: Following the implementation of the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 across the country from September 1, the state traffic police and Manipur Police have taken up various steps.
The state has already seen a rise in the number of applications for driving license, PUC certifications, insurances, etc., in the last few days, which can be attributed to the fear of paying hefty fines under the amended Act.
Both the traffic police and Manipur police are presently carrying out drives at various places of Imphal to penalise people who violate the traffic rules by not wearing helmets/seatbelts or failing to possess driving license, vehicle registration certificates, etc.
However, the state traffic police have been unable to implement certain provisions under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act. This is mainly due to lack of infrastructure on the government’s part while giving more priority to providing necessary documents to the vehicle owners.
According to Section 185 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988, anyone found driving under the influence of liquor have to pay a fine. However, the traffic police still do not have a breathalyser, which is used to examine Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in the person’s blood by measuring the alcohol in the air exhaled by the person. If the person has alcohol exceeding 30 mg per 100 ml of blood, detected in a test by a breathalyser, he/she is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drunk driving and has to pay a fine.
Under the previous Act, one had to pay a fine of Rs 2000, but under the new laws, the person has to pay a fine of Rs 10000 or face jail term of 6 months for first time offence or both. If caught for the second time, they have to pay a fine of Rs 15,000 or serve a 2-year jail time or both.
In Manipur’s context, there have been many instances of drunk driving accidents, some of which were fatal. If the provisions were to be implemented effectively, it would help save many human lives. However, the state is yet to use any breathalysers to check for drunk driving.
Speaking to The People’s Chronicle in this regard, Traffic Control Police Wing SP Khoisnam Sarma said that with the objective of implementing the provisions of the new Motor Vehicle Act, traffic police are routinely conducting checks of moving vehicles.
However, there have been some issues with regard to penalties for drunk driving. As such, the state home department has assured to issue breathalysers as soon as possible and is likely to hand them over to traffic police within this month, she informed.
On the other hand, traffic police have been unable to take up many steps owing to the lack of necessary infrastructure in the state. For example, drivers/riders have to pay penalties for over speeding under the Act.
However, the state traffic police lack speed guns, which are used for measuring the speed of moving vehicles. Although the state home department has assured to issue the speed guns, it is not known when it would be acquiring the said equipment, Sarma conveyed.

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