Recently on the 25th of December 2008, me and my 2 other friends had a very bizarre experience. We were returning from SP Road, Bangalore towards Corporation Circle and were just about to approach the Town Hall Traffic signal when we were stopped by 3 traffic policemen. To our shock and disbelief we learned that we had just entered into a No Entry Area as told to us by the policemen. But we could see BMTC buses plying in the area, so we questioned, “How come it’s a No Entry”? At that time we were told it is a “BMTC bus only entry zone”.
That’s when one of our friends endeavored to have a look at the board that the policemen were mentioning which informed of the diversion to be taken some 50 meters back from the point where we were caught.
After he saw the board we realized the trap laid. The Board was placed in such a position that although it being there, it was virtually and practically impossible for any driver to see it due to the following reasons,
- There were no street lights in the area when we were caught. The time then was around 7:10 PM and was already dark.
- There was heavy traffic, especially BMTC buses and the road condition is also not good. In wake of these facts, it is practically impossible for any new person visiting that area to lookout for boards redirecting traffic, rather than concentrating on the traffic ahead and drive safely.
- The street light is located behind the sign board on the left side (which were not lit on 25 Dec 2008) and for the right side there is no light at all. (Please refer to photos in the link given at the end of the mail to confirm)
- Any diversion signal has to be given at least 50 meters before the said diversion and not at the point of diversion because it is not possible for people traveling in the rightmost lane to take an immediate left turn.
When we tried to tell all these points to the Policemen, they shouted at us and told us that they will seize our driving licenses. Just then 2 carrier auto-rickshaws and ANOTHER POLICEMAN on a bike drove through the NO ENTRY and went ignored even after we pointing them out to the traffic policemen busy in black-mailing us.
Are the traffic rules different for different people, especially POLICEMEN?
When we confronted the policemen with this, we were LET OFF!!!.
- Is this a professional behavior from the Traffic Police?
- To lure unsuspecting and unaware innocent citizens into breaking weakly announced rules and then harass them and EXTORT MONEY from them. Please understand, this is not TRAFFIC REGULATION, it is a facade and an eyewash in the name of TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT and is basically a CITIZEN ENTRAPMENT to INCREASE THE FINE COLLECTION most of which is done without giving any reciepts.
It is also to be noted that normally people will not break a one way / No Entry if informed properly because it is psychologically dangerous to drive in a one way. And that day all those who were getting caught were innocent unaware citizens on PRIVATE VEHICLES only, who were commuting on that road for the first time, like us.
We do respect traffic rules and want to abide by them provided we are kept informed in a proper and legitimate fashion. Had we been properly made aware of the diversion and had there been proper street lights, why would we break the rules?
As a sincere and law abiding citizen of India, it is my responsibility and moral bound duty to create awareness about this seemingly extortion racket run by the Traffic Policemen of the city.
SO PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE ON.
Link to the photos of the signboard on that road.