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Play it safe this New Year's

"Play it Safe" seems to be the new mantra of partygoers this New Year's eve. They may chant party, party and more party at year-end, but at the same time they are following the "Don't drink and drive" message religiously as is evident from the boost in bookings for chauffeur-driven cars.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 30, 2011 17:26 IST

Play it Safe seems to be the new mantra of partygoers this New Year's Eve. They may chant party, party and more party at year-end, but at the same time they are following the Don't drink and drive message religiously as is evident from the boost in bookings for chauffeur-driven cars.

"With the increasing demand, it is very clear that people are becoming more aware and responsible. Most of the people believe they should be careful," Manish Trehan, chief operating officer of Carzonrent and in-charge of Radio Taxis, told IANS.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/beer-poured.jpg"Today we see a lot of parents booking cars for their teenage children. It reflects the socio-economic change in society and for an occasion like this (New Year's Eve) people don't mind spending money.

"Our response has been very strong in car rentals as well as radio taxis, although there are still a few days to go for New Year's Eve. Our utilisation is almost 100 percent and sometimes we even have to deny people," Trehan added.

During party seasons, traffic rules relating to driving after drinking are enforced more stringently and it has helped in controling accidents.

According to the latest report released by Delhi Police, the number of violations had dropped drastically due to stepped up checking and prosecutions. Earlier 280 to 300 violators were prosecuted during a routine check but now the numbers have reduced to 130-140.

Shiven Madan, director of Home Safe, perhaps the NCR's first chauffeur service, is also receiving increasing enquiries regarding drivers. Fifty percent of its drivers are already booked.

"There are some people who wish to take their own cars but keep drivers. We provide drivers to those who want to take their own cars for parties and the demand is rising. In 2009, we provided only 10 drivers and last year the number rose to 35," Madan said.

"This year we have already booked 50 drivers out of 100," he added.

Stringent laws and increasing awareness among the people have led to an increase in the number of people opting for car rentals and drivers.

"A mix of both awareness and stringent drunken driving laws has led people to either keep drivers or rent a car for a day. There are a lot of people who want to take their own cars for parties, and what could be better than having a driver. They don't have to worry about the traffic or driving back home and can happily enjoy the party," said Madan.

Surprisingly, youngsters in the 20-35 age group are asking for car rentals as well as drivers.

"We have seen a lot of youngsters in the age group of 20-35 years asking for chauffeurs," Madan added.

Even restaurant and bar owners seem to be keeping the safety of their customers on top of their list.

Saurabh Khanijo of Kylin Premier & Sky Bar said: "The safety of our customers is our priority. So, as a precautionary measure, we have kept drivers so people who are not in a position to drive, our driver would drop them home safely."