Tuesday, July 28, 2009

You needn’t fear the cops


You needn't fear the cops
Nina C George

Traffic policemen cannot resort to random checks anymore. Metrolife takes a look at this sudden change in the attitude of the City police

 Only those vehicles which are violating a traffic rule can be stopped. The sight of a traffic policeman from a distance need not leave you with any trepidation any more. Now you can zoom ahead and the cops won't stop you to scrutinise your vehicle documents. They won't stop you unless you have committed a visible violation of any law.

Now you can also drive around late in the night and be assured that some place would remain open till midnight where you can gorge upon whatever you want.

And you wonder what's happening to Bangalore? Where are its traffic policemen who would be stationed at every turn of the road to accost you with a hundred queries on your vehicle documents?

There seems to be sudden change in the City police's attitude. First came the extension of the 11 pm deadline on eateries to 12 midnight. The icing on the cake was the announcement that the police commissioner has asked all traffic policemen not to resort to random checks of vehicles documents.

Only those vehicles that are caught violating a traffic rule would be stopped and their documents verified.

Praveen SoodThe makeover in the City's police attitude appears to be on the realisation that the guardians of law and order are there not to harass people but to prevent offences. Revenue collection too is not the raison d'etre, the powers that be seem to have realised. "This halt to random check of documents is in an effort to prevent citizens from being harassed. We don't intend to stop anybody unless they have committed a visible violation," says Praveen Sood, Additional Commissioner of Traffic and Security. The police say fines are an effective deterrent.

Praveen Sood

A source in the law and order wing of the Bangalore City Police says that even after the revision of the restaurant timing, the cops have booked a few cases
against restaurants that remain open well after the stipulated time. One wonders whether the cops could walk into private homes and ask them to close parties after a certain time? "We will not come knocking on private homes unless we get complaints from neighbours stating that either loud music or some unlawful activity is going on the premises," says M R Pujar, Additional Commissioner Law and Order.

He says that the cops will pin people and restaurants down only in case of specific violation.

People who have been accosted and stopped by the cops randomly are heaving a sigh of relief hailing the present move of the cops as "sensitive and sensible".
They see this as the first step towards eradication of corruption, at least the cops wouldn't be able to grease their hands anymore.

K C Shafeeque, a quality analyst says that he has paid nothing less than Rs 5,000 as fine till date, most of which is pocketed by cops.

"Random checks are nothing but a sure route to make quick money," he says. Roy Varghese with Blink Networks thinks it is a sheer waste of time to get caught by the cops, "On road I am sure the cops earn much more than their salaries. I do hope the Commissioner's order is implemented at the earliest, else it will reflect on his work," says Roy.

Sreeja Krishna, a communications expert, feels stopping random checks is not a good move, "If there are no checks then people will take things for granted. At least now the commuter carries all documents fearing random checks."