Traffic police were more concerned about preventing accidents
Even as the spirits remained “high” on New Year’s eve, the traffic police seem to have given party-goers a new year’s gift as they booked only a negligible number of cases of drunken driving on Monday night and early Tuesday morning.
Traffic Police sources said only around 10 cases of drunken driving have been booked in the city on New Year’s eve.
“We have booked negligible number of drunken driving cases on New Year’s Eve”, said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem. “The traffic police were more concerned about preventing accidents and the entire city was in a celebratory mood,” he told The Hindu.
Listing down some of the precautions taken by the traffic police, Mr. Saleem said flyovers were closed and speed indicators and traffic check points set up in vulnerable pockets. “About 175 CCTV cameras and 2,900 traffic police personnel were deployed on Monday night and it helped us manage the situation and avoid accidents,” he added.
Traffic police sources said four deaths due to accidents took place on last New Year’s eve. This year, one death due to accident has been reported in Whitefield, but it was not due to drunken driving, police added.
A senior police officer of West Zone, Traffic, however, admitted that more than 65 per cent of the people who were outdoors were in an inebriated state and were driving. “But no case of drunken driving was booked in this zone. We did not want to cause public nuisance by booking cases,” he said.
Another senior police officer of East Zone, Traffic, admitted that the police in his zone had booked only 10 cases as it was difficult to book cases as the vehicular movement was enormous. “On normal days, vehicle movement is generally less, so we are able to stop and check for cases of drunken driving. On Monday night, a large number of people came out and we do not have enough manpower to check each one of them,” he added. Entire Bangalore City is divided into East and West Traffic Zones.
Some New Year revellers with whom The Hindu spoke were shocked to hear that the number of drunken driving cases reported were negligible and said that they had spotted a large number of people who were driving even after consuming alcohol.
Mithun Kumar Muddan, an entrepreneur said: “When they can book cases on normal days, why should they not book on New Year’s eve? In fact, it is during this time that the police should be more alert and book cases and impose fines.”