Too focused on drunk driving? | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Too focused on drunk driving?

mumbai Updated: Mar 14, 2010 01:00 IST
Megha Sood

The traffic police have intensified their campaign against drinking and driving after drunk south Mumbai beautician, Nooria Haveliwala, hit her car against a police barricade one January morning, killing two people.

But this seems to have taken the attention of the police away from other driving offences.

Statistics collected in the past two months show that there has been a decrease in the number of people penalised for offences such as driving without helmets, not wearing seatbelts, talking on the mobile phone while driving and others.

The traffic police say this is not because there is more awareness among people, but because the police are concentrating on drink driving. They also do not have the staff to spread across all their campaigns, police sources say.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Nandkumar Chaugule said the traffic police, because of serious drink driving cases in the past, have “zero tolerance” towards the offence. “As soon as we get more staff, we will start cracking the whip on other violators,” Chaugule said.

“Special drives against other offences have taken a back seat as drink driving is a more serious issue for the traffic police,” said an officer requesting anonymity.

“We carry out special anti-drink driving campaigns thrice a week but campaigns against other offences are carried out only once a month.”

Sources in the traffic police, responsible for compiling data, said the number of drink driving offences registered has increased, especially after the Haveliwala accident.

The traffic police carry out the anti-drink driving campaign from 10 pm to 2 am thrice a week. Special drives are undertaken on New Year’s Eve at approximately 1,800 junctions in the city.