Facing flak for its inability to contain repeated instances of accidents caused by drunk motorists, the traffic police have decided to tackle the problem on a war footing.
A quick analysis has led the police to reach the conclusion that such accidents usually take place during late hours, in and around places traditionally known for their clusters of popular watering holes and night life. Most of these places are in the western suburbs.
The police headquarters have issued instructions to mount surveillance on roads leading to such places. Hence, the police will now conduct nakabandis well beyond midnight — up to 3am.
A senior officer from the traffic police department told HT that they would randomly conduct nakabandis at places to take motorists by surprise.
The officer said areas such as Bandra (West), Khar (West), Juhu, Lokhandwala, Sakinaka, Malad (West) in the western suburbs and Chembur, Ghatkopar, Mulund in the eastern suburbs are favourite hangouts for partygoers as they house several popular eating houses, discos and pubs. “These are the places frequented by young crowd who party till late hours. Also, these areas have the maximum number of fatal accidents caused by drunk drivers,” the officer said while citing the example of last week’s accident at Juhu where a 23-year-old drunk driver rammed his car into a divider, killing an 18-year old girl and seriously injuring two co-passengers.
Earlier on March 25, an accident caused by a drunk driver in Oshiwara left Charu Khandal, 26, an award winning animator, severely injured.
Apart from this, the traffic police, in co-ordination with the excise department, will also take action against hotels, bars and pubs that serve liquor to patrons without a permit and also against people drinking without permits. “Erring hotels may also face cancellation of their licences,” the officer said.
Instructions have also been given to identify roads preferred by rash bikers, the official said, adding that roads in the island city as well as the suburbs have been identified.
Brijesh Singh, additional commissioner of police, traffic, refused to give out details of the plan. He said, “We will do everything to curb the menace.”