Police come up with an unusual ploy to deter traffic violators
You’re all set to tear through the red light but stop suddenly on spotting a traffic policeman, arms folded, staring down at you.
Only then do you realise that the lawman is not human, but a life-size cut-out.
This is the traffic police’s novel way of stopping violators on their tracks at junctions across the city.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) M.A. Saleem told The Hindu the aim is to reduce not only traffic violations but also the resultant accidents.
As a police officer put it, Bangalore may be the country’s IT capital but it has the dubious distinction of being on the world map for the most indisciplined and uncouth road users. He wearily said Bangaloreans have a penchant for breaking traffic rules whenever they get a chance, and the minimum Rs. 100 fine is too piffling to deter them.
Even so, Cubbon Park Traffic Inspector N.K. Rangaswamy said: “It’s a general tendency for people not to violate rules in police presence. As we have shortage of men to deploy at every junction, we decided to use the scarecrow technique to reduce violations.”
But not all traffic police personnel are impressed. As an officer sniffed: “Many motorists don’t give a damn for the real police. Then how can they be scared of cut-outs?”
Another said: “All this won’t work unless the motorists have a minimum sense discipline.” He added only slapping fines and sending them to court to pay it would cut violations.
However, even traffic policemen are not safe in this big bad city: two of the cut-outs have already been stolen in the dark of the night.
So now the traffic police have another chore: gather them at night, deposit them safe at the police station and plonk them back at junctions in the morning.