In a shocking incident that highlights the dangers of irresponsible driving, an unlicensed driver aged 21, who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time, caused a devastating car crash injuring 3 individuals.
The accident occurred on the expressway near STCBL U-turn in Changzamtog, Thimphu on 4 October.
It was known from the CCTV footage, that the Brezza driver was operating the vehicle in a highly reckless manner, exhibiting erratic behavior and ignoring traffic rules, and resulting int the Brezza speeding over the road divider and colliding with a taxi on the opposite lane carrying two passengers.
Police personnel swiftly arrived at the scene of the accident to assess the situation. The injured crash victims were sent to JDWNRH for treatment.
Investigations revealed that the driver was not only unlicensed, but also allegedly under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the incident.
The Brezza driver did not sustain any injuries, and is currently arrested and is detained.
The taxi driver sustained injuries on his chest and stomach. As for the two passengers, the husband suffered from fractures on the ribs and jaw, and the wife sustained a substantial cut on her head. The three are still undergoing treatment at the hospital.
The Brezza driver will be kept under detention center until the three individuals recovers from their treatment, and the case will be forwarded to the court.
The Brezza driver is known to be working in a hardware store in Thimphu. He was given the vehicle to drive by the hardware store owner to run an errand for some documentation work.
An official from the crime and operation, RBP stated that the Brezza driver will be charged with the Road Safety and Transport Act 1999, section 66, culpable driving, and the vehicle owner will be held liable too.
This year till 30 September 2023, there were 73 motor vehicle accidents(MVA) recorded in Thimphu alone, of which 49 MVA are related to drunk driving, 14 MVA related to over speeding and 7 MVA related to drugs.
A person who culpably drives a motor vehicle and causes the death of another person is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for at least six months or as the court determines or to a penalty of 50 penalty units or both.
A person culpably drives a motor vehicle if he or she drives the motor vehicle with conscious and unjustifiable disregard to a substantial risk that death may result from his or her driving, with unjustifiable gross non-observance of a standard of care, which a reasonable person would have observed in all the circumstances and under the influence of alcohol or drug addition to such an extent that he or she was incapable of having proper control over the motor vehicle.
The official also stated it is surprising how vehicle owners can give their vehicles to unlicensed drivers and also to those who are alcoholic or suspected to be abusing substance.
He said, “If I own a vehicle, it is my responsibility to drive carefully and to take care of my vehicle. If incase I lend it to somebody, as the owner of the vehicle, I have to ensure that I give it to a person having a license and who is not under the influence of alcohol or any substance.”
Similarly, he said, this is the responsibility of the vehicle owner as a license holder and the general duty of any responsible driver to ensure that you don’t put the lives of other people in danger.
“I earnestly request all the vehicle owners and parents, not to give vehicles to unlicensed individuals and those who having drinking issues or under the influence of drugs and who are psychologically unsound. If in case you give your vehicles to such individuals, they are endangering the lives of other people, the footpath users, people walking on the road and other drivers.”
Further, if in case they do this mistake then the owners will be charged along with the reckless drivers.
“We are looking from the safety angle, safety for the other vehicle users and safety for the people walking on the footpaths.”
He shared, “After the accident, even I started feeling uneasy thinking what if this kind of reckless driver suddenly drives his car right towards me and hits me. Even if an individual is a good driver, you will be at risk by such reckless driver. Please try to avoid such carelessness and negligence.”
The unfortunate incident serves as a sobering reminder for all drivers to prioritize safety, obey traffic laws, and never underestimate the potential repercussions of reckless choices while operating a vehicle.