January 2, 2019 2:20:55 am
THE NUMBER of drunk driving cases registered on New Year’s Eve in Mumbai has seen a decline this year as compared to the past two years. The Mumbai Police found 455 people testing positive for alcohol consumption as compared to 615 cases last year and 567 the year before that.
The traffic police ascribes the fall in drunk driving cases to greater police presence on the streets in the days leading up to the New Year’s Eve and more awareness on the part of residents. The traffic police would now ask the Regional Transport Office (RTO) to suspend the licences of the 455 people found driving under the influence of alcohol for a period of six months, as per the announcement made by the transport minister. The Thane police registered more than 2,000 cases of drunk driving while 353 cases were registered by the Navi Mumbai police.
Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Amitesh Kumar said: “We carried out 9,800 breath tests through 250 breathalysers at 85 locations across the city. Though the number of tests and locations remain the same as last year, the number of those testing positive for alcohol has come down to 455 people this year. We are in the process of writing to the RTO to suspend their licences for a period of six months.”
Kumar attributed the reduction in the number of drunk driving cases this year to increased awareness among people, drives on social media and awareness campaigns. “The message was loud and clear that drunk driving would not be tolerated. Also, the heavy police presence on the roads leading to the New Year’s Eve would have also acted as a deterrent,” the joint commissioner added.
Apart from the drunk driving cases, there were 1,114 cases of speeding and rash driving registered between 10 pm on Monday and 6 am on Tuesday. Kumar said that since last year, the police had switched to Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras, which saw a jump in the number of violators as compared to the past, when traditional methods like speed guns were used.
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“While there was a rise in the number of violation cases in the first few months of last year, people over a period of time realised that they would have to pay a fine even if there is no police personnel present. On the New Year’s Eve, there were 1,114 cases registered, which was also less as compared to the past years,” the joint commissioner said. The traffic police also registered 9,121 miscellaneous offences related to traffic on the new year’s eve.
Nearly 2,000-odd traffic police personnel were stationed on signals across Thane, Kalyan and other areas, police said. “We have registered 2,071 cases of drunk driving between Monday and Tuesday. We are in the process of going through with the formalities,” said a senior traffic officer.
In Navi Mumbai, only 353 cases were registered on December 31. “Monday night, there were 353 drunk driving cases registered. We were getting the medical tests of the accused done immediately,” said a senior officer.
“We had lesser number of cases this year because of the public awareness campaigns and proactive actions we have been taking against drunk driving,” said an officer.
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