Don't stop vehicles for checking: DGP tells traffic cops in Bengaluru
Motorists on the streets of Bengaluru are used to being randomly stopped by traffic police to show documents, which causes unnecessary traffic jams and even results in delay for people on their way to work or any important engagement.
So when Karnataka DGP Praveen Sood reiterated his commitment to prevent traffic police personnel from frisking vehicle owners at will, the average Bangalorean wasn’t amused.
“I stand by it & reiterate again… no vehicle SHALL BE STOPPED only for checking documents unless it has committed a traffic violation visible to the naked eye. Only exception is drunken driving. Have instructed @CPBlr & @jointcptraffic for its implementation,” Sood tweeted the other day.
Sood was responding to a Tweet, which read: “When Praveen Sood was ACP traffic, he had banned stopping vehicles for checking documents. You could be stopped only for an offense. Now with Praveen Sood as DGP, stopping vehicles everywhere is a daily phenomenon!”
Sood had said so when he was the ACP (Traffic) of Bengaluru. The top official had then promised to act against his own men if they were seen troubling motorists. Kamal Pant, who was the Bengaluru police commissioner then, too said that stopping vehicles for no reason is not right.
However, the words of police higher-ups do not match action on roads. People complain of cops demanding bribes, making them stop in congested areas and disrupting traffic flow. All in the name of checking vehicular documents.
Policemen are often seen stopping vehicles at busy and crowded junctions like Jayadeva Circle, JP Nagar, Jayanagar and other places. Commuters say that reasons for stopping motorists are random.
Also, the commuters need to be alert for charges that are pressed on them for paying a certain fine. For example, a commuter said he was stopped and asked to pay a fine for expired vehicle insurance. He was about to pay but checked his own documents only to find that the insurance was still valid. The cops were still not willing to listen but finally relented after a heated argument, the commuter said.
Some say that lack of proficiency in spoken Kannada becomes a hurdle. Non-Kannada speaking people are more vulnerable to extortion because of their limitations in negotiating with the policemen.
A senior Bengaluru police official said they instruct the on-duty constables not to harass commuters in the name of routine check-up and document verification.
He said if any traffic personnel is found doing so, a complaint can be lodged against him with the DCP or the ACP’s office.