Nearly 20,000 commuters were fined for drunken driving -the highest number of prosecution for the offence ever recorded in a single year in the last decade - in the first 10 months of this year.
The statistics were revealed at a two-day global meet on road safety being organised by the India chapter of International Road Federation (IRF). According to official figures, as many as 19,914 drivers have already been prosecuted till October 29 - a figure that exceeds the number of violations detected throughout 2011.
"Drunk driving prosecutions are at an all-time high, and the number of prosecutions this year is likely to exceed 25,000," Satyendra Garg, joint commissioner of police (traffic) said at the event on Thursday.
"Strict prosecution and jail terms have made roads in Delhi safer by reducing accidents by almost 19.45% this year. The crash road deaths are likely to decline by 23 %, that is, to about 1,700 from the figure of 2007 recorded last year," Garg added.
According to the traffic police, more than 5,633 drivers have been imprisoned and 939 driving licences been cancelled till October-end this year. Last year, 13,331 prosecutions for drunk driving had taken place in the first nine months of the year.
"The Ministry of Urban Development, in an effort to reduce traffic congestion and fatal accidents in urban areas, is setting up a 'National Road Safety Board' on the lines of the Railway Safety Board," said Sanjeev Kumar Lohia, officer on special deputation to the urban transport and joint secretary, ministry of urban development.
"This will set standards for road engineering, audit and road safety," Lohia said.