The scenario at Jagadamba junction was reportedly a sight to see. Those driving by yesterday morning could see five citizens standing in the scorching sun, holding placards about safe driving and the hazards of driving under the influence of alcohol. Some of them even stood as a substitute for the traffic police.
While one could easily mistake this move as a citizen initiative, truth is that these people were serving the punishment given by the Third Metropolitan Magistrate Ch Ramya. Five people who were found driving under the influence of alcohol were ordered by the court to do traffic duty for a day and pay a fine of Rs 500.
The five who were serving their orders are Sanny Gujaral, P Selot, P Suresh, K Ravindranath and V Trinadh Teja. ADCP of Traffic, K Mahendra Patrudu told The Hindu that initially the offenders were shy, being exposed in such a way to the public and media. But it was soon that they realised their fault & took up their temporary job seriously.
It was the first time that a city judge had passed such a unique judgement, creating a good impact. In 2017 alone, 107 motorists have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and a total of 30% of those convicted were auto drivers. Visakhapatnam has also recorded the maximum number of drink and drive cases in Andhra Pradesh. 19,000 such cases were reportedly registered in 2016 with a fine of Rs 1.36 crore collected from them.
With a rise in such cases in the city and the citizens in disregard of traffic rules, forgoing not just the safety of themselves but also others, the judgement passed is laudable.