The eastern region of Mumbai has the maximum number of drunk drivers in the city more than 7,800 people from the region were booked for driving when drunk in the past 18 months.
In other parts of the city, 4,883 people were booked in the north, 4,382 in the west, 2,741 in the central and only 1,307 in the south from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013.
“We have been conducting campaigns against drinking and driving for the past three years. To minimise fatal accidents on two major roads, the Eastern Express Highway and the Sion-Panvel Highway, we hold regular checks and nakabandis,” Vivek Phansalkar, JCP (traffic), said. “We have been taking strict action against those found driving drunk.”
Compared to other regions, the eastern region sees the maximum traffic. Such is the load that it has seven traffic divisions from Matunga-Mahim to Trombay to Mulund, Phansalkar said. “Naturally, we have to be more careful.”
Another officer from the traffic police department said the eastern region also has the most number of slums. “There are innumerable small and big beer bars and permit rooms in this part of the city,” he said. “People from the middle class and lower middle class living in Thane, Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas often drink at these bars after work. And they then drive back home. We have caught several such people during our drives.”
Talking about the low number of drunk drivers being arrested in South Mumbai, Phansalkar said: “People visiting the posh bars and restaurants there are well-versed in traffic laws.
They know about our campaigns against drinking and driving.
“After leaving the bars, rarely do they drive themselves. They usually have chauffeur driven cars or they hire taxis to go home.”