Monday, September 6, 2010

Cops or Robbers

Delhi Traffic Police are on Facebook (as DTP).

They use the site to deliver updates on the traffic situation across the city. The most substantial traffic on the site comes from citizens' photographs of errant drivers - crashing red lights, using tinted glasses, or parked in No Parking zones.

If you upload such a photograph on to the site, DTP will issue a challan based on the evidence. A good idea, except that - as DTP point out - today, Rs. 100 is not much of a deterrent to doing exactly as you please. Higher fines had been set a couple of years ago, but the High Court knocked them down. Someone had told them that breaking the law should be cheaper than watching a movie.

I used the site to report a Hit and Run to which I was witness. In the real world, I had picked the victim off the road, and brought him to the pavement, got him water, and called 100. A patrol car arrived, and ferried him to the Trauma Center at Safdarjung Hospital; mercifully, he was not too badly hurt. On Facebook, though, my report was not acknowledged. The next morning, I posted the details again, asking to be told whether the driver had been arrested. Again, no response.

A few days later, I posted a photograph of a car parked under a No Parking sign. Boom! Within a couple of hours, there was an acknowledgement.

So, obviously, the Facebook system works. Why not for the Hit and Run? One of the bystanders at the incident said, "Police ki acchi kamaai ho jaigi - driver ko pakkad lengey - rupai mal lengey" (Pay day for the cops - they'll catch the driver and get some cash of him). If they have to be responsive to my complaint, they will have to officially prosecute the driver, rather than doing a quid pro quo with him.

Is it any consolation that he didn't get off scot free?  Not sure - by giving the cops the driver's number, I seem to have helped them make some illegal gratification.

1 comment:

  1. How true can only hope and be happy about the fact that you helped save alife perhaps...Rest is outside your circle of influence unless you choose to form a forum, hold candlight protests , file an application under RTI and then be on the Hit List of another Department of Police.....
    Ironical but for the ideal position continues!!amit