To counter allegations of graft

In the wake of the growing allegations of corruption and police highhandedness during traffic checking exercises, the police have decided to ensure video coverage of all such exercises in the State.

Orders in this connection were issued by the State DGP K. S. Balasubramanian last week who wants the directive to be ‘strictly complied with.’

The order says that traffic checking is a lawful duty of the police to ensure order and safety on the roads and “we cannot desist from that duty.”

The police officers are expected to engage in that duty at various points on the National and State highways and at important traffic points to make drivers adhere to traffic rules and regulations.

Mr. Balasubramanian mentions in the order that “it is seen that this lawful duty of the police has been distorted by various sections of the public and a section of the media to give the impression that the police are harassing the public by indulging in corruption and inhumanly hunting down drivers who are not wearing helmets or seatbelts.”

This has led to law and order problems and even rioting on some occasions, Mr. Balasubramanian pointed out. The order says that a good number of such allegations can be countered if a proper video coverage on the whole traffic checking exercise is done.

All Circle Inspectors and most police stations have been have been provided with video cameras, said Mr. Balasubramanian.

Therefore all traffic checking activities including stopping of vehicles and fining of those found violating traffic rules should be conducted under video coverage.

This is for the purpose of providing evidence to counter allegations if they are baseless. Mr. Balasubramanian has directed that all such video recordings should be preserved for a month in the normal circumstance. In case there are points where video recordings are not possible due to practical problems or emergency requirements, traffic checking should be carried out in a transparent manner, the order stipulates.

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