It’s action time for traffic cops. With the police department’s new edict punishing constables if they are lazy in booking traffic offenders, the cops’ activity on the roads and involvement with motorists has turned intense.
The traffic police authorities have started a performance monitoring system for its 1,400 constables at suburban traffic chowkies to assess them over how well they maintain traffic regulations. Every week, constables who have not filed any cases against rule breakers are called out. They are summoned to the orderly room of the traffic headquarters, and asked to explain their inaction. If they give a satisfactory response, they are pardoned. If not, they are penalised. Consistently poor performers are fined.
Pratap Dighavkar, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), traffic, said that the department monitors each constable’s performance weekly. “If the constables do not have a valid reason for poor performance, they are given a warning. If the bad performance continues in the subsequent week, they are reprimanded. If this stretches over a month, they are fined a sum of Rs 50-250, depending on the laxity,” he said.
As a counterpoint to the stick, there are pats-on-the-back and an extra buck in store for the constables who perform well, or in other words, catch many offenders and lodge as many cases. The authorities have decided to reward five constables every week for doing a good job of regulating traffic. They’re to be given Rs 100 as incentive for outstanding work in monitoring traffic.
“If the constables are being monitored this closely, corruption is likely to go down. This is also beneficial for commuters at large,” said Dighavkar.
The motive behind the drive is to step up the performance of the constables and keep them motivated to do their duty with honesty, the DCP said. The approach seems to be working, at least on the books, which show a bump in traffic constables’ performance.
“We started this system two months ago, and since then have recorded a 33 per cent rise in the cases made by the traffic department,” Dighavkar said.
Job well done
In the past six months, the traffic police constables have caught 14 chain-snatchers and three fake police officers.