Prompted by the observation that most of the accidents happen at the dead hour of night or early hour of the morning because of extreme tiredness of the drivers, the Kolkata Traffic Police has started offering hot tea to the men on the wheels.
The decision of the Kolkata Police came only a few days after a truck carrying a dead body hit a stone-chip laden truck standing by the side of the road killing 18 people and injuring many more. Though initially it was suspected that the driver was drunk, the post-mortem report said that there was no alcohol in the stomach.
“As the driver died it is impossible to find out what really happened that night, but from our experience it can be said that there is every possibility that the driver fell asleep while driving. This occasionally happens with tired drivers driving on a highway. In most of the cases they drive the whole night and at the dead of the night in most of the cases they feel sleepy. Tiredness is their biggest enemy,” a senior police officer said.
It has been also said by the police that the drivers feel asleep because of extreme tiredness. It has been observed that in many cases the driver doesn’t even get the time to sleep all through the day and as a result it leads to fatal accidents. The recent cases of accident of singer Kalikaprasad or police officer Deboshree Chattopadhyay where both of them died — are glaring examples.
To energise the tired hands, the Kolkata traffic police has decided to offer tea to them. “Occasionally they have to stop because their papers need to be checked. They get some time. So, they can have tea in between. We have decided to offer them tea when we are checking their papers. This is not only a welcome gesture but this is important for the safety of the drivers and other people too,” a senior police officer of the Kolkata Traffic Police said.
According to an estimate in the last three months there have been 32 accidents in and around Kolkata because of the driver falling asleep. Three persons died in these accidents. The number of accidents increases during the winter because of the fog. “We are trying to stand by the drivers so that these kinds of accidents can be avoided,” the officer added.