To, Ms. ___ Jalan. (MM)
Court room 104, Rohini Court.
- On 18th April, 2014, I was returning from Rajender Nagar side to Punjabi Bagh when I was stopped at 11:50 AM for traffic light violation at Vivek Cut Light vide Challan number PNC-2335-00929-14.
Apart from the Chalanning Officer, HC Sanjeev (1833/T) the police witness was Ct. P. Bhaskar (5618 T), there were 5 other policemen sitting there on their bikes and scooters (one of them bright red), at the spot.
I hereby categorically submit that I did not jump the red light and as I crossed the first light, it turned Orange and even as I passed the second pole, it was still Orange.
Delhi Traffic Police that day acted like Delhi Challaning Police. Or Delhi Trapping Police!
I never jump red lights or take wrong side ‘shortcuts’ or even cross the stop line, or wait in the wrong lane on a matter of principle, as is the wont of many drivers (from 2-wheeler’s to swanky Rs. 3 Crore SUVs) on Delhi roads. Having learnt my driving and then spending considerable time in Chandigarh, I grew up to respect the Zero Tolerance they have for even touching the stop line with the wheel, on a red light. Not even Minister’s or Chief Minister’s official or personal cars are spared!
Then there was the experience in Kerala that becomes relevant here. On highway pedestrian crossings are posted traffic regulators. Once enough pedestrians accumulate on either side of the road, she raises her STOP sign and the entire traffic, highway-high speed traffic comes to a halt, 20 metres on both sides, and people cross the road! The mere presence of the authority in uniform matters.
Here I have an empty road, I am the ONLY vehicle (as the traffic rush is on the other side, at this hour and I was coming from Sidhharth Hotel side from where, due the timings of the two lights, I ended up being the only one) at a 20 seconds’ pedestrian crossing light and there are 7 policemen, about 50 metres down the road, very visible, who form a human chain barricade and swoop on me alleging that I jumped.
a. Even if I were a ‘jumping kind’, the sight of so many policemen would have deterred me, I am sure!
- Just 2 kilometers down the same road we have
a. Shadipur Metro station under which there are hundreds of auto, cycle and the menacing e rickshaws parked on the road adding to the chaos and unstopping vehicles that pedestrians face while crossing the road,
b. Shadipur crossing where traffic going right towards PUSA spills over to the left most side of the road and blocks the traffic going straight, in spite of a green light
c. AND another 1 kilometer down we have the Kirti Nagar-Moments Mall-Rama Road crossing where pedestrians risk their lives, literally, as it is flanked by two wide flyovers and the traffic there is at a breakneck speed. On both sides of the road.
There is nary a policeman in sight!
- Instead of bunching up at an innocuous spot waiting to ambush violators jumping a 20 second red light couldn’t these people have been doing a better thing? Like, managing traffic?
Probably it is their ‘targets’ that they have to fulfill.
Venture out of Delhi and one sees 20-30-40 spotless white and blue attired Delhi Traffic Police men, once again, all bunched up at one spot Challaning commercial vehicles; both coming in Delhi and going out.
Same is the scene, albeit the number of the ‘ambush’ is lower 5-10, on Delhi’s inner roads where it is the LMV drivers that are being Chalanned, in a long line.
One always sees a semblance of traffic management in the Luteyen’s zone and also, to be fair, at many other locations where the traffic policemen are actually toiling to restore and maintain order on the road.
The regular updates on their Facebook and Twitter page, about broken-down DTC buses leading to jams, and other advisories are really a boon, in the age of always connected smart phones. Using these, many a times, I have altered my route and reached the destination on time!
However, it is this highhandedness, the utter disregard for what is right, the submission that, “we are so many here; are you suggesting that we are lying about your jumping the light?” makes one uncomfortable about the misuse of power.
To counter the suggestion, if I took a whole bus load of traffic violators and jumped a red light, I shall have a clear majority of people who shall side by me saying that we did not! However, as Gandhiji said, “Majority is not always morality.” or something to that effect, their being seven against one does not make them right or true or correct.
I repeat, I did not cross the light and I was Challanned wrongfully. I challenged this Challan and refused to pay up the “mamooli Rs. 100” at the spot, as was suggested by the traffic policemen.
Ma’am, I humbly request you to grant me justice and quash this Challan and take appropriate action against the offending policemen.
It would be worthwhile to look into the priorities of the Delhi Traffic Police, as well!
Friday, December 12, 2014, 4:05:34 PM