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Traffic police - "To police traffic" or "To make money from innocent citizens"?

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EnforcementTraffic

I always follow traffic rules and also make sure that if I am pillion riding or sitting in car, the driver should also follow traffic rules. Today something happened to us which was not good -

We were in Jayanagar sunday evening, trying to look for a parking space, and we reached canara bank circle. We stopped there for the signal as it was RED, and then it turned GREEN, we started moving, with that slowly moving traffic we crossed the white line, it was still GREEN, we were turning left but due to other vehicles we got a little bit delayed(Noone follows lane discipline in bangalore, its a known fact), but it was still GREEN till we can see the signal. It must have happened that we turned left and signal must have turned RED and there was 2 police inspector standing with their motorcyle with blackberries come in front of our car, we stopped and they alleged that we have jumped signal, we should pay fine. We were shocked, as we knew that we haven't,  it was GREEN, but  there was no way to prove our innocence. I agree that it might be possible that the moment we would have turned left and singal were turned RED, but we were already ahead of line and almost turned left by then. How can you drive as well as look back to see what is the condition of signal now, not possible right?

We requested a lot that we didn't jump, we were already in the middle of road but they said "No arguments", pay fine for Rs. 100 and started typing in their blackberries.

Now the questions props up -

(1) What is the first responsibility of Traffic police ( that too 2 cops), To make sure that traffic is running smoothly, to check people stick to their lanes and do not obstruct other's ways and not cause any jam at the intersection or JUST SLAP FINES AT INNOCENT CITIZENS?

(2) Now, when a traffic cops alleges that one jumped signal, now what's the proof, what is the way we can prove our innocence?

(3) There has to some answer to this, otherwise its a joke on World's largest democracy. I would say Traffic Management should put cameras and cops should only fine when they can prove that one broke the signal.

The reason I am posting this blog is that I need PRAJA folks suggestion in how should I do something about it so that it shouldn't happen with other innocent citizens. I am attaching here the receipt photo also so that if we can make this complaint reach upto  the higher management, the culprit cops can be tracked by the place, time, number on the reciept.

 

AttachmentSize
Traffic Fine Receipt1.JPG19.61 KB

Comments

dvsquare's picture

I blurred the Driver's name and Vehicle number in the photo

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to protect the idenity of the person driving the car publicly.

blrsri's picture

this happened to me too..

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at the Domlur signal on airport road..the cop there said I had jumped a signal..though nothing of that had happened..

I cited Mr. Sood's recent stmts in the press about documentation notices..and no harrasing policies etc and thats when the cop said they were also given strict instructions at the same time from the same 'person' to also fine at the slightest instance..!

That doesnt mean they fine even the right! 

However I see overall that there are almost no stops by cops generally for the 'month end' collections where they used to make good money for themselves based on missing documentations..thats commendable though!

s_yajaman's picture

To be fair

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I think there has been a decent improvement in compliance in the last few months or it is just me getting used to the chaos!

I was driving along Bannerghatta Road last Sunday at 7:30 a.m. and people were waiting at the signal at Arakere Gate.  Unheard of a year back.

QUite often I take a late night flight back from Bombay and I find people waiting at the light at 10:30 p.m. on NH7. 

The other day there were cops at 12:00 a.m. at the end of Nanda Road checking for drunken driving. 

I think strictness has been long overdue in Bangalore.  I like the direction that fine at the slightest instance.  Some intelligence also has to be used.  Hopefully that will follow. 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

murali772's picture

how is it fair?

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Yajamaanre' - Going by DVS's narration, one would like to believe that he deserved the benefit of doubt. The police have generally been giving this also. I don't know what's got into them now. Whatever, I can't accept this as fair, by any reckoning.

And, like I had stated earlier, "Enforcement can be effective only when they go after offenders, enough of whom we see day in and day out, and for which, the police have supposedly been given their vehicles. Instead, they just continue standing and enforcing, using all kinds of gadgetry, the emphasis being more on revenue generation than on traffic control. All in all, quite disappointing, even with having supposedly the right kind of people at the top" - check here.


 

Muralidhar Rao
dvsquare's picture

what can be done about it?

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Otherwise this would be continue to happen.

After the order that they cannot stop vehicles for just documentation checking, it might be a new way for revenue generation.

But another question arises here is that those 2 traffic cops were there for only collecting fine or they should be regulating the traffic by making sure that people are not stopping at intersections and etc etc. I don't think basic responsibility of the traffic cops is to collect fine, but it is to police traffic, isn't it?

It always happens, everytime you see, there is literally noone handling the traffic on various huge signals, but there must be standing atleast 3 cops at some distance catching few innocent slow driving people. One cop will stop the easily catchable vehicle, second will do the negotiation and third the main will collect the fine. The real culprits anyways doesn't get caught, they are always on high speed and easily escape.

vinod_shankar's picture

A possible solution?

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I agree with dvsquare that the primary duty of the traffic police is traffic management.  But also in many of the posts here at praja we are for strict enforcement of the traffic rules in the long-term interest of the city traffic . 

In any system there will weak points, i suppose your case is one such, where the cop thinks he is right in fining you and you think the circumstances forced you to take the turn, eventhough your intention was never to violate the rules.   The cops have to strike a balance between frequent violators and unintentional violations.

One possible way the cops can differentiate between the frequent violators from people who have no intention to violate traffice rules is by seeing the history of violations the driver has committed.  Based on this the cops can make a  judgement and give the benefit of doubt to issues like this one. As such the history of drivers traffic violation are available on the blackberry. 

vinod

dvsquare's picture

No, this was not even because of circumstance

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If the cops would have seen that who all are still coming after signal turning RED, it would be fine, but here I am fully sure that till the time I can see the signal it was FULL GREEN, not even yellow, full GREEN, and we took left turn in not very much time, but till we reach upto policemen, I don't know why he just stopped, and above  that, he is not at all listening to us, I mean he said "no arguments".

This way it cannot be worked right, otherwise how will we prove our innocence in any case?

If a traffic cop says "You jumped the signal, pay fine, no arguemnts", now what's with me to prove that I haven't done that? Really nothing. Either Traffic cops have to be very honest and corrupt-free then I agree it works that they can say and you have to follow, but you know, I know and everyone know that they all are corrupt, they want to eat money, then in that case I request government not to take away all power from innocent citizens and give all to Traffic cops, I can request government to install cameras at the signals, and if someone doesn't agree to the allegegations made by cops, cops have the proof that you jumped the signal.

I know that we haven't jumped the signal, but again, what is the proof.

s_yajaman's picture

Strictness with proof

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I sympathize with dvsquare on this, but support in general the direction towards more strictness and zero tolerance.  I think a lot of us have been clamouring for that even when we met Mr. Sood.

We could maybe collect more data on this forum on such issues and send it across to him and see what he says.

But in general the extra strictness seems to be paying off.  People seem to run red lights less often.  Today people were waiting at the pelican crossing on Nh7 just after Hebbal flyover towards the airport.  Could you have imagined this 1 year back?  Strictness is a step in the right direction.  Needs to be fair with proof.

I think he had sort of told us that he would go after cars.  Now for the call center cabs.

Srivathsa

 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

dvsquare's picture

Strictness is always good, but should be fair, isn't it?

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I mean to say I haven't jumped the signal, but got fined.

Its not that they don't do it or can't do it. Many times, I have seen cops checking who all are crossing after the RED is on, and catch them only, and that's the right way.

But here its full opposite, they just wanted to make sure that there would be good increase in revenue generation, and they can get a good bonus at the festival time from the Police dept.

 

sanjayv's picture

traffic enforcement fairness

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dvsquare ... I distinctly Praveen Sood mentioning this somewhere, but do not have the source off hand.  Ideally, we need a system where a fine can be challenged and the police have to submit proof of  wrong doing.  The current system has the cops playing judge, jury and executioner, to use a cliche.  Is there a definition of due process here in the law/rules somewhere I wonder.

idontspam's picture

Do not block intersection

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 To be fair while you didnt jump lights you were blocking intersection by being in the intersection. While there may not be any physical block you are not expected to be in the intersection when there is not enough space ahead of the intersection to hold your car inspite of the light being green. To be fair I didnt know about this until I went to driving school in US.

There are 2 things the police need to do before they charge you or anybody on blocking intersection.

1: They should mark the yellow crosses at the intersections or lines to clearly identify and demarcate the intersection area. Its called the Yellow Box Junction (this was done in some places on MG road but nobody knew what it was for, auto drivers thought it was rangoli) 

2: RTO should educate the entire driving community about what it means to block an intersection and include it in theory tests.

You should appeal your ticket on being charged wrongly as you had passed the signal while it was still green, burden of proof generally rests with the police to prove you had violated. If it is for blocking intersection you can appeal on grounds of inadequate signage and notification. I think you do it in Mayo hall, not sure where.

dvsquare's picture

Where can I get more information about challenging it?

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@idontspam:

Yes, I know that rule about intersection in US, I also have been in US for 3 months and drove there for all 3 months there, after learning all the rules. I used to understand and follow every rule there.

I hope we also have the same kind of rules and understading by all people on the road, this problem doesn't arise.

Also, this is not a case of blocked intersection, because in bangalore or as a whole India, you know, there is not at all any space on roads, and there are always bad-mannered drivers around you, you have to keep going ahead unless you know that signal is going to be YELLOW or RED ahead (if you are a good-mannered rule follower). Here also, it was not blocked intersection, its just normal, but its always like that in India, because you never see an unblocked intersection anytime at peek times, isn't it?

Please pass on more information about the fine challenged, I would like to do that, so that they shouldn't continue doing the same to others.

 

idontspam's picture

 but its always like that in

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 but its always like that in India

Yes, I was honked and pushed into the intersection with choicest abuses by a call center Qualis. After a couple of times like this I got tired of all the honking and taking absues and joined in the standing right in the middle of the intersection. There is no fine for blocking intersection anyway. So until every driver understands that there was a reason for me not to block the intersection they will assume i was just blocking the traffic instead.

silkboard's picture

end to harassments?

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Read in the papers recently that Bangalore Traffic Police is going to stop issuing paper challans. All challans (aka tickets) will be issued via the mobile device (blackberry) and portable printer only.

Statement was attributed to Mr Sood, don't remember what timelines were mentioned. Will this help reduce haggling and harassment when dealing with traffic cops? Not sure about that (give me Rs 50 only, and I wont record your offence - this would still happen), but the offence will straightway be recorded in the system/server, that should help with better reporting and tracking.

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