Traffic police officials said if users have any issues with their complaints getting rejected, they can meet the Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic.

Bengaluru Police Public Eye app Users claim traffic police reject complaints arbitrarily
news Controversy Wednesday, January 08, 2020 - 18:50

A section of Bengaluru residents, using the city traffic police’s Public Eye app to report violations remotely, have alleged that their complaints get rejected without due explanation or reason.

Users complain that the app, endorsed by the top brass of the police department including Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao, does not serve its purpose.

Speaking on this, Venkat Hariharan, a resident of Bellandur, says, “A lot of my complaints on Public Eye are getting frivolously rejected these days, despite my picture being clear and me unambiguously stating the offending vehicle's registration number in the complaint text.”

He points two such cases in the recent past. A vehicle had violated the zebra crossing in one instance and another saw an autorickshaw violating the one-way rule. Venkat claims that even though the violations were very apparent, the traffic police app had rejected it.

He argues, “A complainant can’t be expected to capture the violation in a single photograph with both the one-way violation and the one-way board. In that case, what is the point of geo-tagging the photograph or why not junk the app altogether? In case of doubt when police is interpreting the complaint details, the police should give the benefit of the doubt to the complainant.”

According to the traffic police, the violations reported in the app are scrutinised by constables and head constables at the traffic police headquarters in the city by means of contactless enforcement. Fines are levied accordingly on violators caught on camera skirting traffic rules in the city. If users have any misgivings about their complaints being rejected, they can meet the Joint Commissioner of Police Traffic.

While the traffic police regularly release data of daily fine collections by officials on the ground, there is no such data available of fines collected by contactless enforcement.

Speaking on this, traffic police Joint Commissioner BR Ravikante Gowda, says, “We will put out the data on contactless enforcement for the whole year (2019) in a couple of days.” But he refused to acknowledge complaints with the app; instead, he argued that “how can we issue a challan to a person if the person can challenge the allegation.”

Nagesh Aras, another active user of the app, said the major problem with the app is that it allows only one photo to be uploaded for a single violation.

For example, to point out just one instance of parking on the footpath, multiple photographs with different angles, at different distances may be required to establish the violation. While in some cases, it might be evident that the zebra crossing was breached, officials sitting at the traffic police headquarters may not be familiar with that particular stretch of the road to be sure of the violation, says Nagesh.

He adds, “Usually, most of the complaints take time to get resolved and some of them are rejected. I then follow it up with the Janaagraha team (the non-profit that helped develop the app) with whom I had contact with before. I had spoken with Janaagraha and they say they are incorporating changes in the app to make it more user-friendly.”

Nagesh further suggests that there needs to be some sort of incentive for the complainants in the form of statistics or reports that show how many people have been fined due to vigilance by users of the app or how many users use the app.

He believes this will encourage and motivate users of the app; otherwise, they will stop using it.

Currently, the app which was built by Janaagraha, a city-based non -profit in the civic governance sector, has more than 1700 downloads and a rating of 3.1 on the Google App store.

Speaking to TNM, Vinod Jacob, who heads the products team at Janaagraha, said the changes are being made on the app and during the traffic safety week scheduled for next week, they will take up disputes regarding complaints getting rejected.

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