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615 fined for drink driving on New Year’s Eve in Mumbai

7,600 challans were issued to motorists for speeding

mumbai Updated: Jan 02, 2018 00:04 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
HIndustan Times
Mumbai,New Year's Eve,drink driving
Traffic cops use a breath analyser to check motorists. (Praful Gangurde)

As the city brought in the New Year with excitement, the traffic police remained vigilant through the night to ensure safety. However, there was an increase in the number of drink driving cases as the cases rose from 565 during last year’s celebrations to 615 this time.

After Mumbai had noticed a dip in drink driving cases during Christmas Eve, officials had hoped the trend would continue on New Year’s Eve as well. During this Christmas, only 31 people were caught for driving in an inebriated state while in on Christmas 2016, 47 cases were registered for the same offence. However, the revelry swept the traffic department hopes bringing an increase in the cases.

Of the 615 cases, half were registered in the western suburbs. This could be because of the high number of pubs and bars located in the western suburbs. Dindoshi traffic division reported 49 cases of drink driving followed by Vakola, where 38 motorists were caught for the offence. Major parts of the Dindoshi and Vakola division included the Western Express Highway where the check posts were put up.

The division that stood third was Mulund in the eastern suburbs.

“Mulund being one of the entry points in the city from neighbouring areas in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region including Kalyan and Dombivli has a strict check post,” said an official.

Meanwhile, Worli reported the least number of drink driving cases with only five motorists getting caught in an inebriated condition. “The traffic department did their job well and had put up multiple checkpoints. I managed to reach Mahalaxmi from Malad in 50 minutes when it usually takes 2 hours to complete the journey,” said Jay Shah, a resident of Malad.

The Mumbai traffic police started action much early in the day since afternoon hours on December 31. They continued checking people till 6am on January 1. By 9pm, the city traffic department had registered 127 cases of drink driving and 3,900 of speeding.

Cases of drink driving see a 122% rise in Thane this year

Thane Although an alert traffic police department helped the city avoid many accidents on New Year’s Eve, it also brought to the fore the fact that Thane saw 122% rise in drink driving cases compared to last year.

The traffic cops nabbed 1,928 revellers during their drive from December 29-31. Of them, 1,327 were booked on December 31, 2017 alone. This number was 597 during the New Year celebrations in 2016. Amit Kale, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “As many as 1,928 people were booked under Motor Vehicles Act during the drive and of them, 1,327 were booked on December 31, 2017. The department collected a revenue of more than Rs28 lakh in form of fines from motorists.”

The various traffic campaigns didn’t stop people from flouting rules. Around 80 senior officials and 450 traffic cops were deployed on special duty to keep a check on New Year revelers. The officials were armed with 43 breath analysers.

“Increased vigil has led to spike in the number of cases. The rise in number of cases calls for more awareness. So, in the coming week we have planned a traffic awareness campaign which would be more about safe driving and against drink driving so that so many people don’t flout norms,” says Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police, Thane. “We had a strategy to place ourselves at such places that are not visible from a distance, especially the important intersections and narrow roads near hotels and bars to make sure that we nab offenders on arterial roads.”

At important junctions in the city, like Kapurbavdi, Majiwada, Manpada, Wagle Estate, and Kalyan Phata, cops were not visible from far, which was a great opportunity for them to nab the drunk drivers. At times, the cops also tried to hide and catch motorists by surprise .

30-year-old man held for assaulting a cop

A 30-year-old man from Sanapda was arrested for allegedly assaulting an on-duty cop at Nerul police station on Sunday night.

The police had booked a person, a friend of Chanjeet Gopal Das, 30, for drink driving on New Year’s Eve and taken him to the police station. “When Das learnt about it, he reached the police station with two other people on his bike. He was also drunk at the time,” said a police officer from Nerul police station.

“When our officials realized that he was tripling on the bike and was drunk, they confronted him. That enraged Das and he started abusing our officials. In a fit of rage, he assaulted one of our constables,” he added.

The cops then arrested Das and booked him under section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

“We are now trying to find out if he had committed similar crimes in the past. So far, we have not found any criminal record,” another police officer said.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 15:12 IST