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Cop drive for safe New Year

Imphal, Dec. 31: Manipur police today launched a road safety drive to ensure that New Year celebrations in Manipur remained accident free.

The police launched the drive, on the apprehension of drink driving and driving and riding by underage youths, which may result in road accidents, on the eve of and on New Year’s day.

Official sources said people goon picnics on the last day of the year and New Year’s day and most of the riders and drivers are inexperienced and without driving licences, which might lead to road accidents.

The superintendent of police of Imphal West, K. Jayanta Singh, said the special police drive was launched to ensure road safety norms being followed by New Year revellers.

He said police teams have been deployed for checking driving licences, driving and riding by minors or underage, driving without registration certificates, tripple-riding on a two-wheeler and vehicles wi-thout registration numbers.

The police officer also said driving under the influence of liquor, driving at excessive speed, overloading of cars, vans and buses were in violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, as it posed danger not only to the occupants but also to the public.

Police teams have been deployed at strategic points of the Greater Imphal area for checking bikers riding without helmets and also using mobile phones while driving or riding.

The police officer said the erring drivers and riders were pulled up and fined.

Official sources said there were more than 150 road accident deaths in Manipur this year. The main cause of the road accidents was the victims not following road safety norms.

The police drive came ahead of state transport department’s road safety week, which will be observed from January 11 to 17.

Various awareness programmes, including street corner meetings, panel discussions, installation of hoardings at important spots and teaching traffic rules in schools and colleges would be organised during the week.

However, at the moment, the state police are more focused on the two days — New Year’s eve and New Year’s day.

“Sekmai, a neighbourhood in Imphal West, is one of the favourite picnic spots for New Year’s day. Families and youths would come to celebrate the day by Sekmai river. The revellers usually consume liquor and while returning after the celebrations road accidents are common,” a police officer said.

Police teams will screen those going to and returning from the picnic spots to detect consumption of liquor and also ensure that the drivers follow safety norms.

Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh greeted the people of the state on the occasion and wished them a happy and prosperous year ahead.