February 5th, 2013
(and here’s the first part of the series)
The traffic police in Bangalore have got some shiny new toys. They’ve all got Blackberries and wireless printers for tickets. There’s the huge numbers of breath-alyzers and the shiny car mounted speed cameras.
But, and here’s the problem, their basic equipment is lacking. In Delhi, or Chennai, the traffic police have lighted batons which are used to indicate whether the vehicle should stop or go. Then there’s the problem with road signs and temporary barriers. The temporary road signs used by the traffic police are almost impossible to see unless you are right up against them.
And of course, the average traffic constable is equipped with nothing more than a whistle and maybe a lathi.
What we need to do is ensure all the cops have access to the latest technology. Why do the blackberries have to be only for the senior cops? I’m sure Micromax or one of the other lower cost android phone manufacturers would be happy to give away (or at nominal cost) a bunch of phones to the cops around the city.
But we also need an infrastructure backbone. The police information should be linked to the RTO, so stolen vehicles can be reported and found both by the cops and by the RTO when someone tries to register a stolen vehicle.
A beat constable should just be able to take a photo of a traffic offender and he should be sent a notice with the fine amount filled in. In fact this should be done automatically in most cases — why clog up the roads with challan filling and payments and behind the back bribes and all of that. Any offense — take a photo and automatically have a notice sent to the owner of the vehicle with photographic proof of the offense.
Apologies for the delay in putting up this final post.