Traffic police take swift action on complaints over social media

Issues flagged mostly pertain to auto drivers, illegal parking of vehicles

Published - June 02, 2022 08:57 pm IST - CHENNAI

An effective way of redress concerning traffic violations and issues would be to tweet the complaint and tag the handle of Greater Chennai Traffic Police (GCTP@ChennaiTraffic).

In the last week of April, a passer-by had recorded the incident of a woman and her son being fleeced by autorickshaw drivers in Koyambedu and had shared it on social media saying that the drivers in the locality were rude and often fleeced the passengers. He had shared the clip about the unruly behaviour of autorickshaw drivers with the passengers demanding excess fare.

Acting on those messages received on its official twitter handle @ChennaiTraffic, the city traffic police traced the erring auto drivers and imposed fines on two of them for demanding excess fare, driving without permits, refusing to ply, having defective number plates and so on.

Narayan Kumar, a resident of Abiramapuram, saw two cars abandoned under an electrical transformer near the Third street. Besides hindering the vehicular traffic on the narrow road, the cars prevented the EB staff from carrying out maintenance work. He posted pictures of them on his Twitter handle tagging @ChennaiTraffic. Within minutes, he received an acknowledgement message. In a couple of hours, the traffic police informed him with a photograph that the two cars had been removed.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Kapilkumar C. Saratkar said: “We receive public complaints on four modes — a GCTP citizen app and three handles on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We have a separate team — social media monitoring cell which is managed by Assistant Commissioner, Traffic Planning. Whenever people see any violation, they take pictures or videos of such violation, post it and tag our handles. As soon as we receive such a post, we acknowledge it. Then we send it to the inspector concerned. We receive a reply from the inspector, including a photo of the action taken on the ground. Then we tag the person and tell him that the action has been taken. We try to do it in 24 hours. Sometimes, it takes a little more time. Most of the times, we are able to complete within three days.”

The Twitter handle receives complaints on traffic congestion, individual erratic behaviour, people riding two-wheelers without helmets, driving on the wrong side of the road, riding triples on two-wheelers, vehicles parked on public space and other issues.

“We post names of the officers on night rounds along with their mobile numbers on a daily basis. We conduct a quiz on Motor Vehicles Act and rules, post information on traffic signs. Diversion or any good deed by our personnel or any positive report of traffic safety measures,” said Mr. Kapilkumar.

The social media unit of the traffic police was reactivated on March 1. Since then, 411 complaints were received on Twitter, action was taken on 405. Similarly, it received 475 complaints on WhatsApp and action was taken on 466. As many as 102 complaints were received through the GCTP app and 101 of them were disposed of.

The IDs of the traffic police on social media are: WhatsApp No. 9003130103; Twitter ID GCTP@ChennaiTraffic; Instagram ID chennaitrafficpolice; and Facebook ID Chennai Traffic.

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