Cases of drunken driving double in Delhi

January 2nd, 2009 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 2 (IANS) Cases of drunken driving in the capital registered a whopping 102 percent hike in 2008 from the previous year, a senior police official said Friday.”In 2008, 7,579 tickets were issued against 3,748 in 2007 which marks a 102 percent increase,” said Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal at Delhi Police’s annual press conference here Friday.

In 2008, 2,640,503 traffic tickets were issued as compared to 2,197,645 in 2007 - a jump of 20 percent.

Dadwal, however, said numbers don’t interest him. “I don’t believe in numbers. What interests me is intensive quality prosecution.”

According to him, throughout the year the police gave priority to quality enforcement of traffic rules, which have a direct bearing on road accidents, road discipline and safety.

Prosecution for jumping the red light also witnessed a huge rise last year. While 285,429 tickets were issued in 2007, 529,026 tickets were issued in 2008, an increase of 85 percent.

Improper parking also emerged as a major traffic problem in 2008; 339,736 tickets were issued for it this year against 188,400 in 2007 - an increase of 80 percent.

Dadwal criticised the parking sense of Delhi’s citizens and said: “People park their car anywhere on the road and think it is our responsibility to keep their vehicles safe. We cannot have our policemen everywhere. People themselves need to be aware and responsible.”

Tickets in cases of dangerous driving also witnessed an increase of 81 percent; 132,467 tickets were issued in 2008 against 73,131 in 2007.

The last year witnessed a drop in the fatal accidents by Blueline buses, which were named ‘killer buses’ after a spate of accidents. As compared to 151 cases of fatalities related to Blueline buses in 2007, in 2008 111 cases took place.

“We had also deployed decoy passengers in Blueline buses who travelled from the point of origin to the destination and noted down the traffic violations committed by them. At the end the traffic policemen then ticketed them for all those violations,” Dadwal said.

The fatalities on roads too registered a decline as 1,989 people were killed on the Delhi roads compared to 2,664 the previous year.

Dadwal added that the police control room (PCR) also played a vital role in the police distress response system. In 2008, the PCR received 1,001,204 distress calls; 45,398 people were rushed to various hospitals by the PCR vans during the year. The PCR also played a major part in making arrest of many accused.

The traffic police also launched a special drive against jaywalkers and prosecuted 20,900 people in 2008.

Dadwal said the 2008 also saw a quantum jump in the use of technology by the Delhi Police.

“The Central Police Control Room was expanded and upgraded. A new automatic call distribution system, map projection and LCD display panel with GPS location and a GPS - based automatic vehicle tracking system were introduced,” he said.

“The automatic vehicle tracking system which presently covers 400 vehicles is being expanded to cover all 630 PCR vans and 121 PCR motorcycles,” he added.

Dadwal said that a proposal to cover the entire traffic fleet of 700 vehicles with a GPS-based vehicle tracking system is at an advanced stage.

“The traffic police is also going to introduce e-enforcement as a part of modernization initiative,” he said.

The traffic police officers will be provided hand held electronic devices, capable of retrieving relevant data relating to a vehicle and the driver from its database, for ticketing the traffic offenders on the spot.

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