Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Role of a traffic police man

D.Dhanuraj


Always surprised by the duties and responsibilities of civil servants in India. many times, their roles are not defined and some times they walk on a very thin yet blurred line of execution. here, my focus is on traffic policemen. any city in India, you can see them on streets and at junctions but they differ in uniforms and style from state to state. Yet their roles and responsibilities do not vary much. i am told that at many places, traffic police man post is given to the newly recruited chaps to the force just after their training. let them survive in the scorching heat of summer ! but i am yet to see a traffic police man on the street on a snowy day in Simla or Sri Nagar. but in Kerala, they wear a rain coat or hold an umbrella to survive during monsoon times. anyways, Kudos to traffic policemen for their tiring work and dedication !!

here the policy angle i want to discuss is about their duties and responsibilities. i have always come across SIs and CIs of traffic police in meetings related to urban mobility irrespective of the cities and states in India. the first invitee to such meetings are always the representatives of traffic police. though there is a direct involvement of traffic police in these decision making processes, i always wondered what kind of role they should have in these meetings and exercises. what is the role defined for traffic police; a facilitator or enforcement agency or the decision maker? most of the times, i found them sitting in the chair of both decision maker and enforcement agent and facilitator thus confusing a stake holder like me. what is the expertise and training given to the traffic police? how much are they updated on the happenings around the world in the field of transport and mobility? if traffic police man can do everything, then what is the significance of a transport engineer and mobility researchers? i strongly believe that the police department as well as the administrative session of traffic and mobility should understand the roles of every stake holder while discussing the new mobility plans for a city. most of the developed cities having better mobility plans separated the roles of traffic police and administrators and engineers and policy makers in addition to the role played by public at large. unless these changes are brought into the system in india, our future plans for urban mobility might look bleak.

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