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Old 11th November 2008, 15:27   #1
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Default Cop twists overtaking law to make quick money. Was he right or plain dishonest ?

This happened to a friend a week ago. She had bought an M800 recently and has been driving only for the past 3-4 months. While not a perfect driver yet, she drives pretty well for a new learner.

She is coming on Sardar Patel Road (S.P.Road) from IIT side and just after Raj Bhavan, traffic from Little Mount also merges into the 1-way road. She is on the extreme left of the 4-lane road and driving at maybe 40kmph. There is another car on her right at more or less the same speed as her, plus a few bikes before and after her.

The cops standing after Raj Bhavan flag her down and first ask for papers. Being a new car, all Tax, Insurance etc is in order. So the cop fails to find anything amiss and since she wears the seat belt, there was no scope for fining her on that count also. So finding nothing to charge her with, he says that she is fined Rs450 for overtaking from the left.

Since she is not much aware of laws about overtaking and is not sure what to do, she calls her husband, who tells her to give Rs100 and move on. She tells the cop that she has only Rs300 and Rs100 is the maximum she can pay. He takes the money and asks her to go - no receipt nothing.

Now coming to my queries :
1) I know that overtaking from the left is not right. But is there a law for this, with a specific fine for this violation ?

2) In her case, she was not overtaking anyone and neither driving fast. So what is this thing about wrong overtaking ?

3) In a 1-way road, can't we drive on any of the lanes ? Especially the ones that would lead to the direction that we eventually plan to take ?

For eg. on S.P.Road, if I wanted to take a left to Velachery, I would take the left-most lane. And if I wanted to go to Guindy, I would move to the centre lane and take the left after the Velachery left. And those going to Saidapet, would take the rightmost lane and take a right where this road joins Mount Road.

I think that the dishonest cop just made money out of her ignorance here.
Or did he really have a point that I missed ?

P.S. : Just uploaded a crude drawing for those that are not aware of Chennai roads.
Name:  Overtaking.jpg
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Size:  31.4 KB

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 11th November 2008 at 15:41.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:31   #2
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I could be wrong about this but I don't believe overtaking from the left is a traffic offence punishable with a fine. It is at best a contravention of driving norms. However, it is possible to interpret overtaking from the left as rash and negligent driving / dangerous driving which is a punishable offence. So to answer your question with a very narrow and strict interpretation, NO; but in the interests of getting it over and done with I'd say she got away cheap. The alternative would have been to take a challan and offer to pay the fine in court. How many people have the time or are willing to take the time out to do that?
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:36   #3
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Unless she has crossed lanes or the lanes have been clearly marked with speed limits, there should be no problem.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:41   #4
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Knowing this road and the kind of cops who stand there.

The cop was dishonest.
May God bless him with a very long life, where he is at mercy of people like himself.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kartikkumar View Post
The alternative would have been to take a challan and offer to pay the fine in court.
I have tried to do this before, but the cops said I have to leave behind either my original documents or my license behind. When I argued that, I don't need to do anything of that sort, he showed me a document where it was written that some kind of documents should be left behind.

The final point is, whenever cops stop you and you are kind and responsible enough to stop, they try to fine you with one charge or another to make their effort of stopping you worthwhile.

Last edited by hemanthisgreat : 11th November 2008 at 15:45.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:45   #6
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wondering if a chennai cop is honest ?
a week ago = last month end ?

the answer is so obvious

Last edited by greenhorn : 11th November 2008 at 15:56.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:48   #7
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Yes, it was end-October. And earlier they used to ramp up the challaning as they near the end of the month. But I am seeing them on the roads busy challaning motorists in the early days of November also.
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Old 11th November 2008, 15:51   #8
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The cop made a quick buck. The way you have described about your friend i dont think she is in the wrong.

I think overtaking can be fined if proper signals are not shown while changing lanes I have seen people getting pulled up in Mumbai.
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Old 11th November 2008, 16:08   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
Yes, it was end-October. And earlier they used to ramp up the challaning as they near the end of the month. But I am seeing them on the roads busy challaning motorists in the early days of November also.
Inflation, rising prices, festival season.
or plain simple overtime, dedication to corruption, force of habit.
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Old 11th November 2008, 16:28   #10
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What time of day, SB?

OT:
Let me share a slightly different experience. Last Sunday night, after the Anekal OTR, I head to my office at C V Raman Nagar and then to Chennai. I reach the Madhya Kailash signal (further east / down if SB's map had been bigger) ~ 23:30 and wait for the right turn onto Rajiv Gandhi Salai. There's an Endeavour in front and he turns right after a few seconds. Without thinking, I follow him only for both of us to be stopped by the traffic police.

Policeman notes down registration number and says "1050 fine for jumping a red light sir". I say - "I'm very sorry for jumping the light sir. I'll pay the fine."
P: Where are you coming from sir?
Me: Bangalore. I will pay the fine sir.
P: You can go sir. Please drive carefully.

(The conversation was in Tamil - I have translated for the benefit of all)

He let me go just because I admitted my mistake and said sorry.
Last I checked in the RVM, the Endeavour guy was still there.

Last edited by hrag : 11th November 2008 at 16:30.
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Old 11th November 2008, 16:41   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
What time of day, SB?

OT:
Let me share a slightly different experience. Last Sunday night, after the Anekal OTR, I head to my office at C V Raman Nagar and then to Chennai. I reach the Madhya Kailash signal (further east / down if SB's map had been bigger) ~ 23:30 and wait for the right turn onto Rajiv Gandhi Salai. There's an Endeavour in front and he turns right after a few seconds. Without thinking, I follow him only for both of us to be stopped by the traffic police.

Policeman notes down registration number and says "1050 fine for jumping a red light sir". I say - "I'm very sorry for jumping the light sir. I'll pay the fine."
P: Where are you coming from sir?
Me: Bangalore. I will pay the fine sir.
P: You can go sir. Please drive carefully.

(The conversation was in Tamil - I have translated for the benefit of all)

He let me go just because I admitted my mistake and said sorry.
Last I checked in the RVM, the Endeavour guy was still there.
This should bring back some fond memories for SB as well.
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Old 11th November 2008, 16:43   #12
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@hrag, it was around 11AM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by esteem_lover
This should bring back some fond memories for SB as well.
Now that you mentioned it, yes.
Same right turn and almost the same time of the night.

And I have seen that same cop so many times after that, at various parts of the city.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 11th November 2008 at 16:46.
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Old 11th November 2008, 16:44   #13
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hrag; good lesson to learn from your experience
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Old 11th November 2008, 17:01   #14
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@ hrag
So everytime I jump the signal with my KA03 registration I can always claim am from Bangalore and sorry for the mistake.

I remember paying only Rs.300/- for a red light violation (though I was sure I did not) on Mount Road a few months back.

Last edited by pypkmsrikanth : 11th November 2008 at 17:02.
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Old 11th November 2008, 17:13   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanthisgreat View Post
I have tried to do this before, but the cops said I have to leave behind either my original documents or my license behind. When I argued that, I don't need to do anything of that sort, he showed me a document where it was written that some kind of documents should be left behind.
What document is this?? Clearly something he has fabricated for his convenience. In fact taking your licence is a clear violation of the rules.

But the point you make is correct. Standing your ground only leads to him doing the same and where you could have gotten away with a 100 rupee bribe, you now are stuck with a hefty fine or bribe 5 times the original amount. It is disgusting I agree but unfortunately true. However, if you are willing to fight it out, the cop will back off because he knows there is only that much he can do and his pressure tactic has yeilded no result.
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