Next time you are travelling around Bengaluru and think of skipping a signal, or driving in the opposite direction on a one-way road, or taking a U-turn where it is prohibited, then beware you might be caught in action.
Sourya Prakash Parida, a 32-year-old techie based in Whitefield has taken the initiative of photographing traffic violators. Not just that, you could also be in the spotlight on social media for all the wrong reasons, as he uploads the pictures on the Whitefield Traffic Violators Facebook page.
Prakash hails from Odisha and has been working in a software firm in Whitefield area of Bengaluru for two years. Fed up with the frequent traffic jams clogging the road, he decided to start the page about a week ago after he realized that photographs of the offenders are necessary to report traffic violations.
âWhitefield and ITPL are known for their traffic and bad roads, and it is not without reason. I have seen many heavy trucks on the road towards Hopefarm and Borewell near Whitefield causing traffic jams. When I contacted the area traffic police on Twitter, they said the HTVs (heavy transport vehicles) were not allowed but they could not really stop them from using the road, as the department did not have sufficient manpower to enforce the rules. When I offered to lodge a complaint, they said they could not do anything without a photograph capturing the violation itself,â said Prakash.
He told The News Minute that a significant number of people get away with violations because of the limited number traffic personnel are unable to spot every single breach and considering how congested Whitefield is, the number of violations would only increase in future.
âI take out about one hour out of my schedule and take pictures of violators. I urge people to contribute to the initiative. All they have to do is capture the violation with a good cellphone camera and make sure the registration board is seen. If it is not, they have to note down the registration number. They have to mention where and at what time the violation took place and send me the pictures on Facebook, which I forward to the traffic police,â he said.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) MA Saleem did not say that this initiative was bad, but he added that the Bengaluru traffic police department managed a separate category on their website called âPublic Eyeâ, which works on the same principle.
According to him, the traffic police department booked over 1000 cases of violations last week.
âIt must be a visible violation i.e. if a vehicle is parked in an area where parking is prohibited, then a picture of the vehicle along with the registration board and âno parking boardâ needs to be sent to us. We take that as a complaint and give the informer a docket number with which he can follow up the case,â Saleem said.
âI have had people sending me pictures. Some of them want to keep their identity anonymous. Some have even caught government vehicles violating rules,â said Prakash.