Chennai: While the rest of India continues to face the problem of drunken driving, Chennai has seen a steady decline in drunken driving cases. This follows a Madras High Court order that asked the police to get tougher.
In the past, the East Coast road in Chennai was notorious for its road rage and drunken driving cases. In 2008, an entire family was wiped out in a gruesome accident caused by drunken driving.
However, a heavy crackdown by the police after that incident and strict enforcement of law ensured a decline in the number of such cases.
In September 2009, the Madras High Court ordered the police to get tough on drunk drivers. The police now keep a close watch on the road especially, on weekends.
"We have ensured that enforcement is on the higher side and because of that, in 2009, we had less number of [accident] cases and less injuries too," says Shakeel Akhtar, Additional Commissioner, Traffic.
If one takes a look at the statistics, one would find that the number of drunk drivers booked went up from 11,000 in 2008 to 12,000 in 2009. The number of deaths caused by drunken driving has gone down by 2 percent and cases of injury too have decreased by 600 in the past 2 years.
"Some initiatives have been taken by people but I want it to go in a larger way so that people do not drive when they are drunk," adds Akhtar.
Chennai may be a safer city to drive in now but the police say there's still a long way to go.