If you can't drive, don't rent cars: Goa CM on fatal accident



Hours after a woman tourist from Maharashtra died in a road accident on a major bridge near Panaji as her scooter collided with a four-wheeler, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday wondered why tourists who cannot even drive hire self-driven vehicles.

"Just recently, there was an accident on the Mandovi bridge. It feels very bad. Those who cannot even drive a vehicle, I do not know why they are taking vehicles and roaming in Goa," Sawant said.

Traffic was held up for nearly an hour around noon after the accident at the Mandovi bridge leading to Panaji. Self-driven vehicles offered on hire are popular with tourists in Goa, who prefer to hire and drive two wheelers and cars by the day, in order to avoid expensive taxi drivers and a poor public transport apparatus.

"If you cannot drive, do not rent a (self-driven) vehicle. They try to drive vehicles when they cannot and then start driving from the wrong side. That is why sometimes there are fatal accidents in Goa," Sawant said at a function organised by the Goa Police to launch e-challan (fines) system.

Sawant also said that police are unnecessarily criticised for fining errant drivers, especially tourists.

"When police flag them (errant drivers) down, they are criticised but police only issue challans for their safety," Sawant said.

Increasing number of accidents on Goan roads has emerged as a cause for concern in Goa, forcing the state traffic police to crack down severely on errant driving practices.