Monday, February 1, 2010

Yes, we're all horrified ...

... by the incident where an inebriated young Bombay lady drove her SUV into a police roadblock, killing two, including I believe the rider of a motorcycle who had been forced to stop there by the police to have his breath checked for alcohol content. Please click on the title to read an article from IBN Live on the subject. Some of us will doubtless applaud the fact that the police want to have her tried for homicide and want to throw the collective weight of the public behind moves to ensure stricter laws to combat drunk driving including, the article states, a three year jail term for first time offenders!

I would like to have the following questions answered first:

1) I understand that this roadblock was set up in the middle of the road, right under where a flyover bridges the road. In percentage terms, for a totally unimpaired driver, by how much had already poor visibility been reduced purely because of the location of the road block.

2) Presumably the motorcycle had been stopped in the middle of the road where the rider was being checked. Irrespective of their instructions, had the police followed the common sense approach of pulling the motorcycle over to the side of the road, to a location beyond the roadblock, is there any doubt that the rider and quite likely the policeman who was killed, would be alive today? Also would the lady who now faces being charged with homicide have been responsible for two deaths in that case? Shouldn't she have been followed instead and forced to pull over by someone trained in how to do this?

3) Yes the young lady was quite likely over the limit and deserves a strict penalty - but homicide? Do any of us think she intended to kill those people?

4) Will the Bombay Police allow an independent body qualified to examine these things examine the accuracy of their breath analysers?

5) Will the Bombay Police clearly and unequivocally demonstrate to a population that clearly doesn't trust them that these roadblocks are not a racket and that there is no "going rate" to avoid a night in jail and penalty? Also that those jailed have been medically proven to be over the limit in an unsafe manner and have not simply refused this extortion?

Please, let us not allow one incident to permit a Police force with severe reputational issues to ride roughshod over civil liberties!

No comments: