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Monday, July 30, 2012

Motorists find newer ways to evade cops

Mumbai: Till July 30, the traffic police have penalized 7,389 drunk motorists, but given the rise in accidents, those driving under the influence of alcohol seem to find newer ways to dodge policemen manning streets. 

    According to a senior officer, people have started going to the lengths of using social networking sites to alert their friends about policemen's nakabandis set up at different points of the city to nab drunk motorists. He admitted that though the traffic police had been conducting checks at newer spots, but it was not possible for them to catch every person driving drunk; the number of such offenders far outnumbered those penalized, he said. 
    "Motorists should realize that whatever we are doing is to protect the lives of people. They should act more responsibly," additional commissioner of police (traffic) Brijesh Singh said. 
    Of the 7,389 motorists penalized, 2,985 were sentenced to simple imprisonment and the licences of 2,468 were suspended. The rest were let off after slapped with fines. 
    The officer said in an effort to ensure safety for everyone on roads, families, friends and commercial establishments like hotels and bars should come forward to stop people from taking to wheels after a few rounds of drinks. "It's for their own safety. During New Year's celebrations, we had instructed all such establishments to request 
their patrons not to drive their vehicles drunk. Our effort paid off to some extent as not a single serious accident was reported that day," Singh said. He suggested that NGOs should also help the police spread awareness among people. 
    The police have also put up hoardings at different places, alerting residents about the dangers of drunk driving. "We are not doing all this for our betterment, but for society. Those driving 
drunk are not only compromising their own safety but they are also putting others' lives at risk. They should realize the seriousness of the offence," an officer said. "We don't feel happy about penalizing motorists, our only concern is to control drunk driving accidents that claim lives." He added that people should remember that if they were convicted of causing death for being drunk at the wheel, they could end up spending 10 years in jail. 
MAJOR ACCIDENTS 

Jan 30, 2010 | US national Nooriya Haveliwala crashed her Honda CRV into a police team on an anti-drunk driving nakabandi, killing a subinspector and a biker. Four constables were also injured in the accident. The accident took place at Marine Lines. She was allegedly inebriated at the time of the accident. Haveliwala was booked under IPC section 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder as well as other charges 
Case Status | The trial is underway in a special NDPS court. She is out on bail since the chargesheet in the case was not filed within the stipulated period
Nov 12, 2006 | Speeding down Carter Road in Bandra, Alistair Pereira lost control of a Toyota Corolla, ran it onto the footpath and smashed through tin shacks. Five labourers and two children sleeping on the footpath were killed and eight injured. Tests showed he was drunk 
Case Status | In January this year, the Supreme Court upheld a three-year jail sentence awarded by the Bombay HC. The HC had extended a six-month term awarded by the trial court. Pereira was convicted for the deaths of seven people and is currently serving his sentence 

Sept 28, 2002 | Salman Khan's Land Cruiser allegedly rammed into a bakery on Hill Road in Bandra, killing one worker and injuring four others who were sleeping outside. The actor was booked under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code for culpable homicide not amounting to murder Case Status | Khan challenged a sessions court's decision before the Bombay HC, which lowered the charge to Section 304-A, for causing death by rash and negligent act. After the high court order, the case went to the magistrate's court, where it is pending

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