Panaji: Bars and restaurants providing alcohol to customers may soon be expected to provide a taxi to customers who are not in a position to drive their own vehicles, in a bid to prevent drunken driving in the State.
Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho on Monday said the Transport Department will introduce a new norm in Goa where the bars and restaurants with high footfalls should not allow their customers to drive back after drinking, but to send them in a taxi.
“It will be the responsibility of bar and restaurants to ensure that such customers are dropped home safety,” said Godinho, while inaugurated the 11th State Road Safety Week-2022, a week-long programme on the theme ‘Start Early, Drive Defensively, Reach Safely’ Institute of Hotel Management in Porvorim.
“There are four major reasons behind an increase in number of road accidents: over speeding, not following traffic rules and regulations, adventure driving and drunken driving,” said Godinho.
Appealing to motorists to be more disciplined and follow traffic rules and regulations, Godinho said: We must change our mindset and look at the positive aspects of these rules and regulations. They are made for the betterment of the public.”
“Taxis should be made available near prominent restaurants and hotels so that drunk guests can be put in a taxi and sent home. They can collect their vehicles the next day. Only those guests who are sober should be permitted to drive their vehicles.”
Assuring to discuss these details with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, Godinho described motorists who drink and drive as ‘live bombs’.
“The government has decided to take strong action against those found driving vehicles after consuming liquor. The transport department will take strict measures, including the imposition of steep fines, on those who drink and drive.”
“I have instructed the transport department to set target to officers to ‘ruthlessly’ ensure that report of all violations is filed. We want to discontinue the tendency of violators who try to contact influential persons to avoid penalty and action.
Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte emphasised the need to create awareness of safe driving in the State and lauded the transport department for its service towards public safety.
“The government should deploy RTO officers to ensure that traffic offenders are penalised to curb road accidents in the State. We need to work consciously to avoid road accidents and spread awareness and think how we can work to enlighten the society regarding road safety,” said Khaunte.
Others present on the occasion included Secretary (Transport) Subhash Chandra IAS, Director of Transport Rajan Satardekar, IHM Principal Donna D’Souza, GOACAN Convenor Roland Martin and others.
TAXI ROW: Insisting that he was not bother about his safety and had the guts to take on the ‘taxi mafia’, Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho reiterated that GoaMiles app-based taxi service would start at Dabolim Airport by the weekend or by next Monday.
“I was advised to avoid taking a decision to promote app-based cab aggregators due to the taxi lobby, but I am not bothered about my safety. I have the guts to face the lobby,” said the minister.