KATHMANDU: Do you develop cold feet when you see traffic cops while driving under the influence? It will be cold comfort for drunk drivers to know that now they are not the only ones going to be fined for driving under the influence. Nepal Police have acquired instruments that can detect if you have cold and they are going to treat driving when you have a common cold on par with driving under the influence.
Their decision is prompted by a recent study carried out by a Cardiff University professor that effectively states that driving when you feel groggy with a heavy cold can be as hazardous as drunken driving‚ because of slow reaction times. Drivers having a heavy cold not only take longer to stop a car but also drive too close to the vehicle in front making them less mindful of collision. Their act of sneezing forces them to look away from the road for up to three seconds. Having a cold is equivalent to drinking three or four pints and being over the limit‚” says Andy Smith‚ professor at Cardiff University‚ who led the study. “In fact people with a cold had slower reaction time than those associated with drinking‚” he says. “Colds slowed reaction times by 36 milliseconds. Yet‚ consuming the amount of alcohol that would lead to a driving ban slows reactions by just 15 milliseconds.” While the physical symptoms of a cold are well known‚ researchers are increasingly looking at the effects it has on mental functioning. In the study‚ 50 people with a cold were tested and the results then compared to results for a group who were not infected over the same three-month period. Results show that alertness was reduced by a third in cold sufferers. The effects did not seem to be altered by the severity of the cold.
Based on the report’s finding‚ Nepal’s Traffic Police Department‚ with its zero tolerance policy‚ is all set to crack down on people suffering from common cold. Ugendra Aryal‚ Director General of the metropolitan traffic department‚ said‚ “We are taking this issue very seriously and have held consultations with heath experts and stakeholders before deciding to order the required instruments and training our personnel in its usage. We will issue public notice today and take action beginning next week against errant drivers.”
The instruments are called sneezalysers and can measure how likely you are to sneeze within the next half an hour. Even a count of one is enough to penalise the driver. Aryal states patients of common cold cannot drive till they fully recover after completing the course of medication. Sneezalyser can detect any medication for cold and could lead to drivers being pulled up.
Apart from that running nose while driving is sure to get you a fine. Since it is well known that those under the influence of common cold have a nasal voice‚ the traffic police will also keep an ear open for all those with a nasal voice. That will come handy once the cops run out of sneezalysers.
Cops acquire new toy• Sneezalysers can measure how likely you are to sneeze within the next half an hour
• Even a count of one is enough to penalise the driver
• It can detect any medication for cold
• Traffic crackdown
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Apologies are due to Professor Andy Smith‚ the Metropolitan Traffic Police and everyone who fell for this gag.
Happy April Fool’s day!