Choking brigade

BANGALORE: Traffic police personnel are the visible faces of authority representing the rather large umbrella called the Government. Changes in political weather affect their life with the sam

Published: 20th April 2012 10:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 07:38 PM   |  A+A-

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A traffic constable sans any shelter at a signal| suresh nampoothiri

BANGALORE: Traffic police personnel are the visible faces of authority representing the rather large umbrella called the Government. Changes in political weather affect their life with the same intensity as the scorching sun or a heavy downpour. From dealing with irate drivers and  helping people flag down autos, to bandobasts and accident sites they are present everywhere. City Express takes a peek into their lives.

The job of a traffic police might be easy to criticise from the outside but spare a thought for their work. Traffic police work round-the-clock. With the increase in the number of vehicles on road and the corresponding increase in noise and dust pollution are part of their job profile. Traffic cops work in two shifts. The first shift starts at 7 am and ends at 2pm, while the second shift starts at 2pm and goes on till 10 pm. Then there are night shifts and   special duties like arranging smooth flow of vehicles for VIP movements and traffic control during public events and cricket matches. This extends their duty hours.

Working conditions: While many are known to quit their jobs due to insufficient or inadequate facilities, let us take a look at the traffic police personnel’s office.

■ ;Traffic umbrella/booth: In most junctions in the city where the police personnel are  stationed, City Express found that the umbrella or booth is missing and that the open road is their workstation. Those few that exist are not well-maintained. Even if there is an umbrella, the police personnel often come on to the road to control the traffic flow.

■ ;Drinking water facilities: Sorry, what is that? The police personnel carry water bottles in their hand. Once, the water is over, they are completely dependent on others’ benevolence. This reporter found traffic police personnel borrowing water from cab drivers and BMTC bus drivers.

■ ;Toilet facility: If a personnel wants to visit the loo, he has to inform his partner at the other junction to take care, before he steps out.

When City Express spoke to Additional Commissioner of Traffic Dr M A Saleem, he said “World is dynamic. Traffic policing is a different skill now due to increased vehicle population and changing lifestyle of people. Traffic constables are like officers. They are doing both regulation and enforcement duty and should be active always.”

The only way people can now help traffic personnel is by following traffic rules and reduce road rage.

Did you know?

■ ;Traffic police get two offs per month and they have 15 days casual leave

■ ;;Bangalore Traffic Police has 7 lady inspectors

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