Traffic cops gear up for Gatari

Jul 25, 2014, 01:14 IST | Anuj Ismail

While revellers prepare for a weekend of binge drinking, the traffic police are getting ready to catch drunk drivers on the road

While there are some who are looking forward to a few nights of binge-drinking in celebration of Gatari Amavasya, the Traffic police are on their toes, preparing for what they anticipate will be a weekend rife with drink driving.

Gearing up: The police will soon have new breath analysers that will also take pictures of drivers who take the test. File Pic

Gatari Amavasya — which falls on July 26 this year — is a regional festival celebrated in Maharashtra, and is seen by many as the last chance to enjoy alcohol and non-vegetarian fare before the month of Shravan begins, marking a period of abstinence from both. Those looking to reinforce their self-restraint for the month ahead, often go on drinking binges on the night of Gatari and on the night before.

Last year on August 6, during Gatari Amavasya, the Traffic police had caught as many as 149 drunk drivers on the road. Anticipating just as many cases this year, the police have planned special drives on Friday and Saturday in various parts of the city, where they will lie in wait to nab culprits.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic administration), Kavita Nerkar said, “We have identified the areas where we will conduct the drive. The drive will commence from 7 am till late night.” The Traffic police will be aided in their search for inebriated drivers by 45 breath analysers.

Nerkar said, “We will seize the driving licence of people who are caught driving while drunk. The licence will then be sent to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) for suspension for anywhere between 7 and 180 days, depending on the type of offence.”
It is worth noting at this point, that since January this year, the police have already caught 1,181 driving under the influence of alcohol, but only 235 licences have been revoked by the RTO so far.

But, the Traffic department seems to have pulled its socks up in earnest, with several new initiatives lined up. “Earlier, there was no way to authenticate whether the offender’s driving licence is fake or whether the address mentioned on the document
is true or not. However, with the help of the new traffic app, we can instantly check the details on the spot and upload the offence along with the driving licence details of the offender,” said Vishwas Pandhare, deputy commissioner of police (traffic).
Nerkar mentioned that the police would soon acquire new breath analysers that will also be equipped with cameras to take pictures of the drivers who take the breath test.

Drunk drivers caught this year

>> January: 240
>> February: 65
>> March 486
>> April:54
>> May: 32
>> June: 228
>> July: 76

Infamous spots
Koregaon park
Chandani Chowk

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