As Chennai gears up for New Year celebrations, the city police is cracking down on illegal bike racing. On Christmas Eve, Chennai City Police began a crackdown on illegal bike racing on the cityâ€™s arterial roads and this is expected to continue until New Year's Eve.
According to The Hindu, as many as 158 persons were booked for speeding and 63 vehicles were seized in various stations. Times of India reports that based on specific tip, police laid traps in Kamarajar Salai, Anna Salai, Sardar Patel Road and Dr Radhakrishnan Salai in the city.
Churchgoers on Christmas Day had complained of racing on the roads. Police set up barricades and closed some routes to funnel the racers to specific junctions. According to TOI, police set up traps at Royapettah clock tower and also at Kannagi Statue near Triplicane.
Police have said that those booked were asked to collect their vehicles from the court. Instead of calling their parents, this action is expected to have better results.
While racing is banned in the city, around this time of the year it rears its head.
The Chennai City Police is yet to announce a curfew for hotels, restaurants and other establishments holding New Yearâ€™s Eve parties. Last year, the curfew for New Yearâ€™s eve was set at 1.00 am. Bandobast teams will be deployed to make sure curfews are enforced. Hotels in the city planning for New Year celebrations will be regulated in terms of liquor license and party timings.
This rule came into place after a tragic accident in the city in 2008. On December 31, 2007, just a few minutes before midnight, the wooden plank above a swimming pool in Savera Hotels collapsed and nearly 70 people fell into the pool, eventually claiming the lives of three guests. As per reports from 2017, the city recorded over five deaths and more than 300 injured in road accidents and related incidents during New Yearâ€™s Eve. There was a sharp spike in trauma cases between 11 pm and 2 am according to doctors, who said that accidents accounted for 80% of the cases.