VIZIANAGARAM: Despite the city police putting in their best efforts to discourage drunk driving among the denizens, the number of drunk driving cases are worryingly on the rise. In three months, around 1,240 cases were registered.
The choice of Vizag as a smart city has made the police sit up and adopt smart techniques, leading to a change in patrol patterns. The night vigilance police patrols, which were stationary earlier, are now moving from place to place in the city to crack down on violators.
The police have set up check points at specific places in the city to especially check drunk driving. Currently, the check points include major areas like Maddilapalem Junction, Tycoon Junction, Zoo Park area, PM Palem Junction and NAD Junction apart from a few other places.
However, drunk drivers seem to be a step ahead of the police, as they have reportedly been hitting alternative roads to reach their destinations without being caught. Against this background, the police in a change of tack, spread their wings and began to make surprise visits. Police patrols now do not stay in a particular area for more than half-an-hour to one hour at the most.
“We conduct drunk driving vigilance at Tycoon Junction. But violators, as a matter of habit, try alternative routes to escape. They may go via Siripuram or take to the lanes and bylanes. So in order to nab them, we have begun patrolling the bylanes and interior areas too,” said S Bapujee, inspector of police.
Notwithstanding the change of strategy on behalf of the cops, there still is a noticeable increase in the number of drunk driving cases. While there used to be around 200 to 250 cases earlier, now they have zoomed to around 400.
The police have registered 1,240 cases since Januray despite increased measures to curb the menace. Around 334 cases were registered in January, rising to 417 in February, before hitting 489 till March 24.
As part of overall efforts to bring down the numbers, the police have been holding regular counselling sessions for violators at the Police Commissionerate. Around 200 people were counselled Monday by vigilance officers Traffic police.