Mumbai: Motorists fined when cops can't tell right from wrong (side)

Updated: Dec 13, 2018, 15:50 IST | Sanjeev Shivadekar | Mumbai

EXCLUSIVE >> As cop's car is escorted by police van on wrong side of road at Malad, where residents have been campaigning against the same violation, other motorists tag along

The Mumbai Police seem to have no trouble getting on the wrong side of the law if it means they can avoid a few minutes in a traffic jam. Even as Malad residents continue their massive campaign to stop motorists recklessly driving on the wrong side, they have now caught (on tape) the police brazenly committing the same offence.

MID-DAY had reported on October 3 how a series of accidents prompted Malad residents to go on a war footing to stop motorists from driving on the wrong side of the road. Following reports, the traffic police upped their efforts to curb such violations.

A senior citizen took pictures of police vehicles on the wrong side of Marve Road on December 9
A senior citizen took pictures of police vehicles on the wrong side of Marve Road on December 9

On November 27, after a meeting with frustrated Malad residents, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar instructed the force to take action against those driving on the wrong side. In less than a fortnight, the police were spotted breaking the rule themselves. What's more, several motorists followed suit, while the cops turned a blind eye.

On Sunday, a citizen caught in traffic on Marve Road recorded a video of a police SUV and van driving on wrong side. The elderly man was his way from Marve to Malad station around 8.25 pm, and was taken aback by the traffic snarl on the road. "Instead of making efforts to clear the jam, even police vehicles went on the wrong side to avoid traffic," he said, adding, "Several others followed the police vehicles on the wrong side. Meanwhile, the guardians of law turned a blind eye."

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The citizen was further taken aback when the auto driver said this regular scene. "Share rickshaw drivers ferry four to five passengers. They don't follow any traffic rules. Policemen are mute spectators," the auto driver told the citizen.

Deepak Phatangre, senior inspector of Malwani police, said, "Marve Road is quite narrow and sees traffic jams on weekends. This is the reason police vehicles sometimes go in the opposite direction to clear the jam. I will take strict action if police flout rules."
Input by Samiullah Khan

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