This year's Holi saw the least number of fatal road accidents in the Capital in more than a decade. This record of sorts was made after only six fatal accidents reported on Thursday against the average of 15 road deaths on Holi in the past one decade. In 2011, 13 people had died in road accidents on the day of Holi. All the six fatal accidents involved two wheelers and took place during the later part of the day.
The first accident took place at 2.52pm near Dhaula Kuan when a 26-year-old biker lost control of his vehicle and hit a divider and died. Minutes later, a 22-year-old fell from his speeding bike near GTB Enclave in north Delhi, sustained head injuries and died.
Two men died after their bikes were hit by a DTC bus and a truck in two separate accidents in Bawana and Barwala Road, respectively, in the evening. Another accident involved a 32-year-old man, who lost control of his bike and died after hitting a road divider. Similarly, a 35-year-old biker hit a tree in Uttam Nagar and died.
On an average, five to six people get killed on city roads every day and traffic police said the number of deaths increased on festival days. This year, for the first time, the festival day did not make any difference, police said.
"This did not happen by chance. It was the clear result of our sustained special drive against drunk driving that we had started on March 1," Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
For the first time, Delhi police had deployed 200 teams to ensure that even a single drunk driver is not spared. Traffic police said they prosecuted a total of 8,526 people, including 961 for drunken driving, 865 for triple riding, 3,381 for not wearing helmet and 378 for not using seat belt, among others. In the past 12 years, more than 10 people have died on Delhi's roads on this particular day (Holi) every year barring 2005, when nine people had lost their lives on the day of the festival of colours. The year 2006, however, was the worst year with 22 road deaths on Holi.