I am sure that I have mentioned in one of the earlier posts that I am a member of a social group and in the course of our ‘Social work’, we poke our nose in everybody’s business. One such business is that of the police inspector in charge of traffic.
Ours is a small town not worth noticing but we have our share of traffic woes. Wrong parking, rash driving, disregard for traffic rules and all other wrong practices are sincerely followed in our city. We do have traffic police who stand at strategic junctions chatting with their colleagues or talking on their mobiles while the erratic traffic finds its way around them. Sometimes they swing into action very kindly helping out a car driver trying to ENTER a ‘No Entry’ lane or holding down other vehicles to help a pickup truck take a wrong right turn.
Having decided to do something about improving the traffic situation in our city, we went to the traffic police station to meet the inspector but he was not present. His deputy was there and we explained to him our mission and requested him to instruct his staff to be vigilant and take strict against offenders rather than helping them out. He listened to us very politely, offered us tea, nodded his head in agreement with whatever we said, promised to do the needful and saw us off at the entrance.
A week later the things were same. This time we got an appointment from the inspector, met him with a written request and insisted that something be done to improve the situation. He was equally courteous and understanding and he assured us that he would take necessary action.
Another ten days and things were as they were. We got pissed, wrote a strong letter and addressed a copy to the Dy Sp (Traffic) at the headquarters. We waited to see the effect.
Few days later I had a patient from the US who was in Goa on a holiday. He had some trouble with his tooth which I attended to. He paid my fee, said that his insurance company would reimburse the expenses and gave me a form to fill. It was to be filled in black ink and I did not have a black pen. I rode to the nearby multipurpose store to get one. They had pens, blue and red, but no Black. The stationary shop was just about a kilometer away in our market complex. The patient was waiting in the clinic and I was in a hurry. I zoomed ahead towards the market and as I did, saw few traffic police constables standing at the junction. They were flagging down vehicles and were doing something. I was happy to see our traffic police acting against errant drivers and was thinking of returning later to compliment them when one of them signalled me to stop. I thought that he must have recognised me from my visits to their office and was inviting me to see them in action. He came near and said,
“ You are not wearing a helmet, sir”
“Oh I am sorry. I was in a hurry and was just going to that shop” I pointed to the shop.
“That is OK sir but riding a two wheeler without a helmet is an offence”
“ I know that but it is not compulsory to wear a helmet in municipal limits"
"I do not know about it sir, we have been asked to go strictly by the MV Act and wearing a helmet is compulsory"
" You see, I was..........” I tried to give further explanation justifying my riding without a helmet. He ignored it.
“May I see your licence?” Luckily I had it in my pocket and I gave it to him.
He wrote down my name and licence number in his book, mentioned “driving without helmet” against the ‘offence commited’ coloumn , tore the page out and handed it to me.
“Hundred rupees sir”
There was nothing else to do. I took out a hundred rupee note from my pocket, handed it to him and returned, forgetting the black pen.
We had succeeded in making our traffic police act, at last!