The city is partying, but responsibly this year. The Mumbai traffic police’s party week crack down on drink driving — from December 25 until New Year’s Eve — saw the number of offenders caught on the first two days fall by more than half compared to 2015.
The police caught 47 motorists for taking the wheel in an inebriated state on Christmas night this year; the number was 121 in 2015. On the second day of the drive, 46 motorists were caught, compared to last year’s 106.
“This year, we are conducting checks between 11pm and 2am at various spots. These areas are where motorists are most likely to drive drunk, our personnel found,” said an officer from the traffic police headquarters. You can find the checkpoints mainly along the Western Express Highway, Link Road, SV Road, LBS Road, near Eastern Express Highway and the Eastern Freeway. To catch offenders off guard, these locations will be changed through the night at all 34 divisions of the traffic police in the city.
Effective enforcement has acted as an awareness campaign for the traffic police, sources said.
The department had already set the wheels of change in motion early in October, when they launched the CCTV e-challan system, which uses the city’s new extensive CCTV network to help the police identify motorists flouting traffic rules and immediately issue e-challans to violators through an SMS.
The police have put up billboards about the CCTV challan system at important junctions to publicise the effort and increase awareness.
The first two nights of the drive also saw a drop in cases of rash driving, compared with last year. Nineteen cases were registered on these nights, much less than 2015’s 96 cases registered during the same period.
But bikers caught for riding without a helmet continued to remain a problem. The drive has already caught 324 bikers for riding without wearing the headgear.