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Traffic cop with a heart

Several times I have been harrassed by traffic police. I have even been fined on a one-way inspite of going in the correct direction. I kept arguing and the cop kept threatening me with words like warrant, summons etc. Finally I ended up paying 100 Rs fine inspite of following all the rules. That had left a bitter taste in my mouth about traffic police.

But one incident that happened recently taught me that there are indeed nice cops too.

I was driving my two-wheeler in Mysore immediately after I had come back from UK. I did not have my helmet on. I had seen that the majority still drove withouth helments and 'assumed' that the helmet law had been withdrawn while I was away. My mistake. A traffic cop suddenly pulled me over. I was about to reach for my licence and insurance then the cop asked "Helmet elri?" (Where is your helmet). I was like 'uh oh.. there goes another 100 Rs'. But I just thought I would explain to him that I had recently come back to India and had no clue whatsoever about the status of the helmet rule. I dont know if it was my convincing power or the bambi eyes my wife was making sitting on the pillion, but the cop just folded his fine book back and said "bega ondu togonDu hakkoLi" (Buy one soon and wear it).  We thanked him and left.

I can not explain how nice it felt to restore my faith in traffic police. It made me feel that if we find such cops who respect the spirit of the rule than the word, we can implement our rules better and make the country a better and safer place to drive.

Have you had good/bad traffic cop encounters? 

tsubba's picture

Tenali Rama says,

Tenali rama says, ignorance is not an excuse to break the law. Tenali Rama would have put a rs 100 fine on that udaari cop and given you a rs 200 fine for blogging about it. deposit rs 100 with me and collect a challan later. :) neeve heeg maaDidre henge marre? aapuda hopuda?
silkboard's picture

one small story of mine

Rule is a rule Tarle, and ignorance is no excuse. But I think let off with a warning is okay. However, a handy bribe or some harassment would have made sure sash3n wouldn't ride without a helmet again. I have a similar story from Mumbai few months ago. I was about to enter Eastern Express Highway at Chembur when this cop waived at me. I stopped, and was told that my front seat passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. I never knew that was a rule on that road in Mumbai. Yep, I was wearing mine. Next, the cop realized I was a visitor from Bangalore (why the hell did I volunteer that info!). He said he can let me go with a fine but since I didn't have a Maharashtra driving license, I will have to surrender my license and pick it up the next day at a nearby police station. Now, I had no idea what the exact procedures were. And I couldn't extend my stay at Mumbai just for this. Thankfully my 'experienced' host realized this and went "kitna chaahiye". That broke the ice. Rs 50 was all it took and we were off and on our way. Moral of the story? 1) Wish there was a way to know the exact rules and procedures to make sure the cop isn't taking you for a ride. And are the rules and procedures long and complicated for a reason? 2) Fine, Bribe or Harassment serves the purpose - whenever in Mumbai or on any expressway in India, I do check for everyone's seat-belts.
December Stud's picture

My father had died just

My father had died just then. I had to take care of a lot of his stuff. I was driving. My wife and my mother were in the car too. As you can imagine, I was certainly not at my best. Apparently the road next to Manu-Vana in Mysore is a one-way. I didn't realize it. A cop caught me near Ramaswamy circle. I decided not to tell him that I came back from America and thus I didn't realize tha one way and all that story. I made a mistake, period.

The cop knew I was an emotional wreck. He just asked me to get the vehicle registration OR the proof of insurance. He then asked me to drive away. I was trying to go back in the direction I came, but the cop came by and asked me to just carry on in the direction I was originally driving.

Oh well, I guess I was lucky....God (or cop) helps you when you have been truthful all your life :)

silkboard's picture

chalta-hai or nice?

DS, and Shastri - I would say the cops you ran into were "chalta hai" type more than good ones. A god cop must do his job - fine you quickly and efficiently because you broke the law. Letting you off with a warning is nice, provided they record/register it somewhere so that you get a fine next time and not a warning again. Do they have a way of recording warnings? Or they only record penalties?
December Stud's picture

Cop with a Heart


Yes, I was a lil surprised that the cop didn't give me a ticket. I was expecting he would.

But, I am certainly no fool to insist on getting a ticket. He let me off and I zipped.

I do agree that he should have at least given me a warning. Well, he may not eb a "good" cop, but certainly a "cop with a heart".

afalak's picture

Its not for law, the rule is for you

You came from UK then you are educated. Helmet is not for law its for safety. It has to be made a law because some are stupid, they dont care about their lives. The goverment just wants you to be alive, remember it pays for you too (recollect subsidies, education assitance, quota etc). If you die it looses a workforce, a citizen and a tax payer. Something like the medical expenses are tax free (so that we use it to be fit and healthy and contribute to nation building). So please please please, have common sense, use your judgement and education and

1> Buy a good quality helmet, ISI marked and which fits you. A helmet like any cloth is for a rider not for everyone. It should fit properly else its more dangerous.

2> Always strap the helmet, most rider die because they didn't have the patience or sense to strap it. The helmet came off in the first hit and when they hit the pavement their skull was cracked

3> Same way please buckle your seat belts while driving a car

4> Follow traffic rules. Its for your safety, it not for cops but for you, the citizen of India, my fellow citizen. I want you to be alive since then you can share my tax burden too ;)

5> Lastly, share the road, like water its a resource, use the education India gave you to live a shared existence and also to enable the less unfortunate

The cop you met might be good but you were lucky that a dog didn't cross the road or a insect didn't hit you eyes afterwards. Us educated people should atleast be more responsible rather than behave like illiterates, right ?

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