SHILLONG, March 17: Traffic cops in town are caught on the wrong foot. They are accused of playing nuisance instead of preventing wrong parking, guiding motorists and rest of it on the roads. There are observations that if the traffic cops do their duty diligently then, if not all, much of the town’s traffic chaos can be addressed.
A school teacher said that recently he was looking for a parking space in Police Bazar area and noticed a traffic cop who despite looking at his predicament, did not come to his aid. Next, when the teacher parked his scooty at a suitable place – which was not causing any inconvenience to traffic movement, the same traffic cop arrived and started shouting at him. The traffic cop next fined him for parking his scooty at a no-parking zone and was unwilling to listen to any of the pleas of the scooty owner. The scooty owner claimed that there wasn’t any sign of no-parking in that area and the traffic unnecessarily harassed him.
Similar comments are received from several other motorists, too. A lady motorist said that the traffic cops in town are ‘opportunists’ since they wait for motorists to commit mistakes so that they can penalize them. It is learnt from these motorists that these “excess by traffic personnel” is earning them the tag of one of the “most unfriendly traffic cops in the country”.
One may have heard about motorists being caught for not wearing helmets or parking in a no-parking zone but in Shillong the traffic personnel waits “as a bystander and hunts for violators”.
Many observed that this attitude of the traffic personnel is contributing to the traffic congestion while also casting aspersion on their integrity. Most importantly, the versions of the affected motorists have been seconded by witnesses too.
One such witness said that he has seen a woman being badmouthed by blue uniformed traffic cops in Police Bazar, recently, forcing him to intervene since he could not tolerate the treatment being meted upon the gullible public.
Affected ones on the roads wonder “why is it so difficult for the traffic cops to behave humanly” instead of their “persistent disrespect”. Like the teacher above and others like him observed that a simple traffic stop often escalates to violent words followed by challans, fines and rest of it, in the town today.
This rude behavior of the traffic personnel is doubled by their flocking in one place. Take for example, the Pine Mount Ridge road in Greater Laban. Here, motorists complained that one can see two to three traffic personnel flocking at the tri-junction near the BSNL office every afternoon when the Pine Mount School gets over, instead of manning this entire serpentine road. As a result, there is none to manage the tourist vehicles that have become habitual to creating bottlenecks.
There are opinions from many that the current trend is only helping the town traffic police to generate revenues by penalizing motorists, trickily, but at the cost of their own image in the public.