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Spare a thought for the traffic police

Staff Reporter

— PHOTO: BHAGYA PRAKASH K.

KIND GESTURE:Traffic police pose with their new jacket gifted by a private company, which also donated the barricade.

Bangalore: With Garden City's foliage fast disappearing, it is the ubiquitous traffic jam that probably defines Bangalore now. And, for motorists stuck in the seemingly never-ending traffic jams, it is increasingly convenient to take out their frustrations on the hapless traffic policeman.

It is to address this that the traffic police launched the portal, Policeconnect.org, on Wednesday morning. The website, formally launched by Commissioner of Police Jyothi Prakash Mirji, aims to serve as a forum for traffic authorities, citizens and corporate entities to discuss and formulate plans to handle traffic in the city.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood said: “The vehicle population in the city has grown at such a rate that for every traffic policeman, there are 1,200 vehicles. How can the policeman cope with this?” he asked.

Mr. Sood elaborated on the long list of responsibilities of traffic policeman. From checking for emission violations in vehicles to enforcing lane discipline to regulating city buses and autorickshaws, the traffic policemen has his hands full, he said.

Dust and pollution

Rain, dust and pollution extract their toll on the policeman, he said, and quoted from a health study on traffic policemen who had put in more than 20 years. “More than 70 per cent of them had some form of asthma and bronchitis. A large majority were turning deaf too because of noise [pollution].” Heart disease is common among traffic policemen, he said.

Lack of respect

Harish, a traffic policeman from the Rajajinagar traffic police, lamented the general lack of respect for the men in white and khaki. “People fight with us for everything. If traffic slows due to metro work or road maintenance, motorists take it out on us,” he said.

“People have the impunity to break traffic violations in front of us,” Harish said. “They know that we can't catch all of them, and feel they can be safe if they sped away,” he added.

At the event, 300 kits and 100 barricades were donated by a private company. The kit consisted of a jacket, a pair of sunglasses and an umbrella.

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