Cops begin hunt for drunk drivers in Colombo city | Daily News
Death of Borella Traffic OIC

Cops begin hunt for drunk drivers in Colombo city

IP Ananda Sagara  Sarathchandra
IP Ananda Sagara Sarathchandra

The Traffic Police commenced operations to net drunk drivers, especially in close proximity of nightclubs in Colombo City, from midnight yesterday.

According to DIG Ajith Rohana, this would be continuously implemented with the intention of eliminating the drunk-driving culture and the ‘Defender’ culture in the country.

The recent tragedy due to reckless driving by a young man under the influence of alcohol, was reported on Saturday night with the death of Borella Traffic OIC IP Ananda Sagara Sarathchandra, who was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in Bambalapitiya on February 24.

The suspects were on their way home in a Defender from a nightclub when the accident happened.

Police would be conducting special traffic operations from time to time and such an operation conducted across the Western Province on the nights of March 8 and 9 saw 527 drivers who were under the influence of alcohol, nabbed.

Police arrested 222 drivers on Friday (8) and 305 drivers on Saturday (9). This includes lawyers, doctors, businessmen and other persons, police said.

This operation was conducted under the direct supervision of IGP Pujith Jayasundara. The IGP had received information that there is an increase in the number of those driving under the influence of alcohol consumed at night clubs and restaurants, especially during weekends.

They will be prosecuted and police expect to temporarily suspend their driving licence through a court order, Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara said.

According to police statistics, most traffic accidents have been reported on Fridays between 4 pm and 8 pm.

According to the DIG Ajith Rohana, 304 individuals died in 4,398 traffic accidents committed by drunk drivers between 2016 and 2018.

The operations carried out by the police in 2018 alone saw 105,094 drunk drivers arrested. “This is only the number of offenders we could identify. There could have been more,” the DIG said.

He said according to the statistics of the past decade, most victims of fatal traffic accidents are motorcycle riders. Nearly 3,000 riders died in traffic accidents from 2016 to 2018.

The second victims are pedestrians. Over 2,800 pedestrians died in traffic accidents between 2016 and 2018. The third victims are pillion riders and the fourth are the three-wheeler users, he said.

According to DIG Rohana, police have already placed an order for the import of over 25,000 breathalyser units and they will arrive in the country within the next three weeks.

The new equipment which will also identify whether the driver had used any drug other than alcohol, will be given to all police stations immediately, he said.

“The laws are also expected to be revised to permanently cancel the licence of drunk drivers,” the DIG told media on Sunday.


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