New Delhi: Seven persons, including four motorcyclists, were killed in road accidents in the city on the day of Holi, the lowest fatality figure on the festive day in the last 12 years.
   
Of these, police said on Friday, four deaths were due to motorcycles slipping or hitting a central verge, a tree or a pole on Thursday.
   
"Apparently, there was no other reason for these (four) accidents," Satyendra Garg, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said.
   
"While my heart goes out for seven persons who got killed in road accidents on Thursday, it is a big relief that accidents were lowest in Delhi on Holi since year 2000. Though we wished it could have been zero but good to know these were lowest accidents," he said.
   
In the past 12 years, a total of 170 people were killed in road accidents on the day of Holi in Delhi.
   
While 10 persons were killed in 2000, the figure rose to 19 in 2001 but came down 11 in 2002 and 10 in 2003.    

In 2004, it rose to 16 only to come down the next year. The year 2006 saw the highest fatalities at 22 while in 2007 and 2009 the figure was 17 each. In 2008, it was 13 while it was 15 in 2010 and 13 last year.
   
Police also conducted a special drive to check traffic violations and challaned a large number of people, including 777 for drunken driving till 5 pm on Thursday.
   
Police had made elaborate traffic arrangements to ensure safety of motorists on roads and check incidents of drunken driving, over-speeding, dangerous driving, triple riding, minor driving, driving and riding without helmet and other traffic offences.
   
Special checking teams with alcometers were deployed at major intersections to detect and prosecute violations.
   
Last year on the day of Holi, 7,957 people were prosecuted for various traffic offences.
   
200 Traffic Police special checking teams were spread all over Delhi to check drunken driving. Last year, a total of 18,073 motorists were prosecuted for drunken driving of which
2,960 were given jail terms and 2,212 driving licenses were suspended.
   
In the run up to Holi, Traffic Police had conducted a special drive against drunken driving and had caught 775 drunk drivers in the past six days.
   
Last year, a total of 7,956 people, including 624 for drunken driving, 815 for triple riding and 2686 for riding motorcycle without helmet, were challaned for various violations forcing them to shell out Rs 7.88 lakh as fine.
   
In 2010, 5,300 people were challaned.

(Agencies)