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Mumbai cops bring down drink driving cases through awareness campaigns

Of 34, 15 traffic divisions did not report a single case of drink driving on that night.

mumbai Updated: Dec 27, 2017 10:27 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Drink driving,Christmas
The Mumbai traffic police deployed special teams armed with upgraded breathalysers at several checkpoints to catch motorists flouting norms.(Picture for Representation)

This year too, Mumbai has proved that it can set an example when it comes to curbing the drink driving menace. With only 31 cases of drink driving reported across the city during the intervening night of December 25 and 26, the city seems to be on its road to change. Of 34, 15 traffic divisions did not report a single case of drink driving on that night.

Traffic police officials said the drop in cases is solely because of awareness campaigns. This, officials believe, may have convinced people to opt for safe travel like hiring cabs and drivers after consuming liquor. Mudit Shekhawat, senior director of marketing, Ola, said, “As the country’s largest mobility platform transporting millions of commuters every day, raising awareness about and promoting safe and responsible commute is our priority round the year, and especially during the year-end festivities: Christmas and New Year’s. This is when we witness a significant increase in bookings.”

An Uber official said, “Rides on Uber in Mumbai increase by 45% on both December 24 and 25 during party hours (11pm onwards).”

Western suburbs, which usually contribute quite a lot to drink driving cases during year-end festivities, also witnessed a dip in such cases. Bandra, DN Nagar, Vakola and Jogeshwari divisions reported three cases of drink driving each, while Colaba, Kurla, Vikhroli and Malad divisions reported two cases each. Eleven other divisions reported just one case of drink driving each. “A large portion of our division was trying to ensure smooth traffic movement. It does appear that the awareness campaign to curb drink driving has worked,” said Sharad Ovhal, inspector at Bandra traffic division.

The Mumbai traffic police deployed special teams armed with upgraded breathalysers at several checkpoints to catch motorists flouting norms. Checkpoints were set up at the city’s major routes: Western Express Highway, Link Road and SV Road in western suburbs; LBS Marg and Eastern Express Highway in eastern suburbs; and P D’Mello Road and JJ Flyover among other major routes in south Mumbai.

The traffic police, however, did not let drivers get away easy, as the checkpoints were changed throughout the night to surprise motorists and ensure violators don’t go scot free. On the first night of deployment, the police registered 10 cases of rash driving and 129 cases of helmetless riding. This year, the police also concentrated on illegal parking throughout the night. The city traffic police registered 1,019 cases against motorists parking in no-parking zones and double parking.

First Published: Dec 27, 2017 10:27 IST