Assam has taken a resolve for this New Year’s eve – the northeastern state is trying to ensure it does not see any cases of drunk driving on the last day of 2021.
To fulfill this resolve, the state government launched a week-long drive to spread awareness. “Before the onset of the New Year, I want to appeal to you all, let’s make the last day of the year memorable by not having any motor accident due to drunk driving,” appealed Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The state police have also gone creative on Twitter in its social media outreach. “This New Year’s eve… try not to be our guests,” reads a poster tweeted on the official handle.
If your New Year’s Eve plans include drunk and/or rash driving, this invitation is for you.
— Assam Police (@assampolice) December 30, 2021
Assam’s road accident death figures reveal why it’s an important cause for the state. Till November 30, 2,756 people have died in 6,745 road accidents and another 5,252 were injured, according to the state transport department data.
Last year, as the state welcomed the New Year, the state lost 29 lives to road accidents between December 31 and January 1.
Between 2018 and 2020, Assam saw 23,191 road accidents that claimed 8,803 lives. About 56 per cent of victims were in the age group of 18-35 years. And 6,149 of all accidents involved two-wheelers.
About 75 per cent of accidents happened due to over-speeding due to drunk driving.
“Lots of efforts are being made by the police transport department, and honorable Chief Minister also made an appeal to the public to avoid drunk driving. I feel people have got the message and they are very much cooperative now as you can see from the records. Initially, when we had started it we are getting cases of around 60 to 70 per night… and now it has come down,” Devashish Borah, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Guwahati, said.
Since Christmas, Guwahati alone has registered 515 cases of drunken driving. Around Rs 50 lakh was collected as revenue till December 29.
“It’s good during festive season. Such people create inconvenience on road also,” said Partha, a local.
“This is a very nice step taken by the government of Assam. A lot of young people lose their lives in road accidents,” Santanu, another local added.