After concerns are raised, Mysuru police justify roadside vehicle checks

Mysuru traffic police conducting roadside checks.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

The stepping up of roadside checking for traffic offences has become a cause for concern in some quarters, but the police claim it is necessary to not only check the flagrant flouting of traffic rules, but also recover long-pending traffic penalty dues.

Former corporator K.V. Mallesh, who is also president of Anikethana Seva Trust K.V., recently wrote to the Mysuru city police against the practice of the traffic police flagging down motorists on the road. Instead, adopt technology to book traffic violations, he suggested.

Pointing out that teams of traffic police personnel position themselves at vantage points on the roads and flag down motorists, particularly the ones without helmets, before examining their documents and checking for outstanding traffic violation penalty dues, Mr. Mallesh said many vehicle riders manage to spot the police from a distance and make a desperate bid to evade them on their vehicles, potentially exposing themselves and other motorists to the dangers of an accident.

“Many a time, the riders take a sudden U-turn upon seeing the police and ride recklessly, putting themselves and other motorists on the road in danger. Sometimes, there is the danger of motorists colliding with the police personnel also,” he said. He also said that motorists appeared to be making extra efforts to evade the police, particularly after the penalty was increased and also following loss of sources of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, the traffic police should book cases through cameras installed at junctions and traffic signals, before sending out notices to the houses of the offenders and recovering the dues, he suggested.

Coverage issues

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime and Traffic) Geetha Prasanna justified the need for manual booking of traffic violations as CCTV and other cameras will not be able to capture all types of violations, particularly on the interior roads. Though CCTV cameras have been installed in Mysuru at around 60 junctions, they are not enough with the city having expanded by leaps and bounds.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sandesh Kumar said the outstanding penalty due from motorists booked for various traffic offences in Mysuru was over ₹70 crore. More than 34 lakh cases have been registered since 2014, including the ones booked using tools such as CCTV cameras and speed radar cameras, but most of the violators have failed to cough up the fine, he said.

If traffic offenders are not penalised and violations are allowed to go up, accidents will also increase, threatening the safety of people, Mr. Kumar said, adding that the intention of the police was to curb offences, not penalise motorists.

He pointed out that people can check for violations booked against their vehicles online and make payments digitally. They can visit karnatakaone.gov.in, register and enter their vehicle registration number. The details of the violation, date, and place will shown. If people need to see photograph proof of the violation, they should visit the Traffic Automation Centre at the Police Commissioner’s office, he said.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 2:46:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/after-concerns-are-raised-mysuru-police-justify-roadside-vehicle-checks/article33612613.ece

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