As the countdown to New Year’s Eve begins, the traffic police are on high alert for drunken drivers. Starting from the first week of December, officers have been regularly checking on drivers and making sure they follow the rules. The guilty are being penalised every day. Authorities say that up to 15 people are pulled up every day in Bandra and Andheri each for driving under influence of alcohol.
A traffic police official said, “The number of drink driving cases are very high in Andheri and Bandra. Vile Parle, Santacruz and Khar are at normal levels. More people are being caught and fined every day. Since there are many pubs and bars in Bandra and Andheri, our main targets are these areas and the roads connecting to them.” Police said that even in other suburbs like Khar, Vile Parle, at least five people were pulled up every day.
While everyone has shifted gears into party mode, the police have to work that much harder. A police constable from Vakola traffic beat said, “We traffic officials never celebrate December 31 with our family and friends. During the entire week leading up to January 1, all our leaves are cancelled and we have to be on the roads all the time manning traffic.” Another officer from the Andheri division said, “I have been in the traffic division for the last four years. I haven’t had a New Year party with my family during this time, because our whole staff is on the streets fining people.”
Traffic police officials said that even though awareness programmes and other initiatives are taken to curb the menace, people still resorted to the practice. Senior police inspector Rajendra Pardesi of Andheri traffic police station said, “People should use alternate transport when they are under the influence of alcohol. They should use public transport like an auto or taxi late in the night. We will have our drives regularly. Every day, we charge around 15 people for driving drunk. One should consider one’s own safety and also of others while driving.”
Average number of drunk drivers caught every day by the Andheri and Bandra traffic cops since the drive began