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Old 9th September 2020, 18:17   #1
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Default Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Hello folks,

I want to share a recent (dumb?) experience where I was asked to pay a fine for not wearing a mask. I am specifically writing about this because there was no valid point in asking me to pay a fine even though I was not wearing a mask.

I was in a residenitial neighbourhood, right outside of my building gate at around 8 in the evening. I walked out of the gate to get into my car which was within 20m of the gate. Now the place is not crowded at all. The neighbourhood is lined with old bunglows, so even resident population is very low. In the evening you can barely see anyone outside, other than some car or someone walking their dog in a 10 minute interval. At that moment there was no one even near by in a 50m stretch in either directions.

Now at this is point when I am walking towards the car, two cops come by on a motorcycle and stops right in front of me. I realised they were cops so dint say anything for their brave maneuver. Then the guy at the back (btw Inspector, 3 stars on collar) gets off and the one in the front clicks my picture. . And then tells me to pay a fine of 500 bucks.

Seriously ??? For being alone and no one around. Dude I am getting into my car alone. My building doesnt even have a watchman. Nor does most of the bunglows around my building. So there is literally no one around. Now I am someone who has kept 10 spare masks and sanitizers in the car and wear gloves when I take my mom to the hospital for her appointment. I am always wearing a mask when needed.

I very politely asked him what was the reason for it and his only reply was its a rule. Well common sense does tell me that I have to wear a mask in public or around anyone for that matter. But wearing a mask when I am alone is absurd. I had to argue with him, very very politely, for the next 15 mins, and tell him why me standing outside my building and gettng into my car in a near deserted road, doesnt technically need a mask on my face.

Btw the mask is in my hand all this while and I have showed it to him on arrival. I only did not wear it because I was alone.

Next thing he tells me its ok if I dont pay the fine then and I can go to court and pay my fine. On which I did again ask him (politely) if his intention was to increase the crowds at court for people not wearing a mask. I am much aware of court procedures and this lead to me expalining to him why that is such an unfavourable route for me.

After around 20 mins, I think he gave up and just left without saying much and not giving me a fine.

Around two days later when speaking to a friend on the phone, she mentioned how she and her brother were both fined when travelling in the car together. They were the only two people in the car and are siblings that live in the same house. So basically two people who live in the same house and have dinner together are fined because they are not wearing a mask in a car. How stupid!!!

I am not sure how to respect cops now. Are they either just DUMB or just stating laws and using no common sense. The law says if one person is the car he can not wear the mask. But what if two family members are travelling together? Nothing has been said about that and the cops are making merry charging fines from people who live in the same house.

Last edited by frewper : 9th September 2020 at 18:23.
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Old 9th September 2020, 18:47   #2
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

I’m aware of such incidents. The administration sometimes is working like a hardwired equipment or a badly written program with no logic. And I tell you, it is going to be useless and waste of your time arguing with them.

So, even if I may look like an idiot, I put on the mask while driving alone in the car; not for this particular virus but for some select.

Regards.
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Old 9th September 2020, 18:59   #3
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Logic is seldom applied while enforcing such laws. I won't be surprised if there are daily collection targets assigned to cops.

In Bangalore there were incidents where the cops fined lone driver inside their car for not wearing masks! After much hue and cry, they revised the circular to allow driving mask-less! Same applies to two wheeler riders without pillion.

Good thing in Bangalore is that the top brass cops are very active on Social Media - mainly on Twitter and takes public inputs swiftly, especially on these illogical rules.
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Old 9th September 2020, 19:03   #4
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Quote:
Originally Posted by frewper View Post
I am not sure how to respect cops now. Are they either just DUMB or just stating laws and using no common sense.
Look at it from the policeman's point of view. His job is to enforce the rule about wearing masks, and he's been briefed to issue x number of challans as part of his patrolling duties. He cannot determine whether you are getting into your car, or riding in the car with your spouse / sibling or just a hitchhiker. He is not asking you to wear an N95 mask, so you can wear a surgical or homemade cotton mask to feel comfortable, yet not be challaned. The policeman doesn't care if the mask is below your nose, or has a little hole where your mouth is.

At the end of the day, a mask is like a seat belt. Wear it properly for your own safety, or wear it without care about clipping it on properly, just to avoid a challan. You might say that you unhooked the seat belt in crawling traffic because you aren't endangering yourself, but a cop will still challan you when you are at a complete stop at a traffic light, if he notices you without the belt in place.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 9th September 2020 at 19:07.
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Old 9th September 2020, 19:11   #5
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Maybe offtopic, the question i have is that is wearing a mask mandatory while you are inside / driving a car ? I don't use a mask while driving and i would not want to be get into a penalty situation like this.
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Old 9th September 2020, 19:27   #6
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Here's my counter point of view:

Let's compare this with the use of helmets. Would you also not wear a helmet if the neighbourhood has zero traffic? Should the policeman give you a leeway for not wearing one just because there is no traffic.

In all fairness, he was right on his part to enforce the law. Logic or not, the road constitutes as a public place and the use of a face mask is mandated on it. One of the reasons why our law enforcement has failed to do a good enough job is also the overburden of arguments by law breakers.

In principle I agree that you were in an open space without much risk in your view but it was still a violation of the order issued.
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Old 9th September 2020, 19:35   #7
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Law is law. There is no use of arguing on the basis of common sense or uncommon sense.

When you are outside your home, you have to wear mask. Whether there is actual crowd on the street or not that's not the question.

Its high time we stop arguing with law enforcing authorities on the basis of our own perceptions. We need to see the bigger picture and admit our mistake if we are on the wrong side.

Sorry if i sound rude but if i were in your place i would have paid the fine without any questions asked.
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Old 9th September 2020, 19:52   #8
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

I completely sympathise with you. I have faced something worse than what you went through. I was driving through a National Highway.

There was a check post where I was stopped. The moment I rolled the window down the cop took a picture of me and then asked me to get down from the car I took my mask wore it snd got down from the car. He took me to the inspector who asked me to pay fine for not wearing a mask. I told him very politely that I am driving with my windows rolled up and I am equally concerned about the pandemic and wouldn’t do anything which would put me or someone else at risk. As expected it didn’t have any affect on him he kept on repeating pay the fine. I finally asked him to show me where the law says I have to wear a mask inside my car he replied “ I can arrest you right now “ I asked him on what charges? He said for wasting his time and also said I had no idea what police can do to a civilian. I lost my cool shouted I am not scared of these threats and he needs to show me the law which states I am required to wear mask inside my car. Some 7-8 policemen cornered me and started to scare me though I was not scared but I gave up thinking there was no point in arguing these illiterate public servants who think they are above the law. Paid the fine and left.

I couldn’t sleep for two days and was disturbed for over two weeks because of this incident. We all have mental affect of this pandemic and authorities are only adding to these woes.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 10th September 2020 at 07:59. Reason: formatting
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:00   #9
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Here in Hyderabad I remember my friend paying ₹1,000 for not wearing a mask and ₹235 for not wearing a helmet when he was on his 2 wheeler.

The officer clicked a picture and gave him a spot challan. Not sure if he has the receipt of that challan!

IMO, Rule is a Rule! The guys enforcing it wouldn't think much on it and just fine th offender if found without mask.

Last edited by a4anurag : 9th September 2020 at 20:01.
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:02   #10
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Quote:
Originally Posted by bejoy View Post
In Bangalore there were incidents where the cops fined lone driver inside their car for not wearing masks! After much hue and cry, they revised the circular to allow driving mask-less! Same applies to two wheeler riders without pillion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrishnakj View Post
Maybe offtopic, the question i have is that is wearing a mask mandatory while you are inside / driving a car ? I don't use a mask while driving and i would not want to be get into a penalty situation like this.
Few days back, I was pulled over by the cops, when was driving in my car (windows rolled up, A/c on) with my wife, for not wearing masks. I showed them the masks we were carrying and pointed out again, she is my wife, but they didnt relent.
In the end paid 500/- fine and got receipt for the same.

After seeing all the good as well as bad things happen since the virus has landed on our shores, I have given up thinking.
Ours not to reason why, ours but to listen and comply.
(Sorry Tennyson)

From now on I will be wearing a mask in my car even if I am driving alone.
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:04   #11
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

I sympathize with those who have fell into unnecessary hassle but in this situation such negligence is to be avoided.

My belief is someone driving a car alone with windows down should wear a mask as much as a 2 wheeler rider since they are breathing in and out free air from surroundings and stands risk for themselves and also the people around them since we do not have the relevant data around how much the virus can float in the air without a host.

Otherwise it is like saying an open drum of rotten waste does not irritate people on the road if the drum is moving in a vehicle.

What if someone infected sneezes and releases droplets which remain floating for 10 seconds in the surrounding air (2 feet radius like a sphere shaped zone) and another person just walks through that place within that 10 seconds and breathes that in. Sorry if others think I am exaggerating but there are only convenience assumptions that we end up making in the absence of proper research data.

Last edited by haisaikat : 9th September 2020 at 20:08.
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:05   #12
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When the law itself is plain stupid, such instances are bound to follow in the name of executing it. Imagine if the law was framed using common sense, you think the police would be so pro active to implement it? At the end of the day, it's just a cheap government way of begging for money by putting you on the wrong side of the law (just by shifting the goalposts). How about some police protection for doctors/nurses working in jumbo covid hospitals, being threatened/manhadled by irate relatives instead? Oh, no income from that though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Here's my counter point of view:

Let's compare this with the use of helmets. Would you also not wear a helmet if the neighbourhood has zero traffic? Should the policeman give you a leeway for not wearing one just because there is no traffic.

In all fairness, he was right on his part to enforce the law. Logic or not, the road constitutes as a public place and the use of a face mask is mandated on it. One of the reasons why our law enforcement has failed to do a good enough job is also the overburden of arguments by law breakers.

In principle I agree that you were in an open space without much risk in your view but it was still a violation of the order issued.
A classic apples versus oranges comparison here!
Although on a purely technical basis, the police just have to implement, not interpret the law. The fault is the shoddy law itself.

Last edited by vb-san : 9th September 2020 at 20:43. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged; please use edit/multi-quote options when posting back-to-back. Thanks!
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:19   #13
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

So a recent news article in the TIMES of INDIA, Delhi on the 4th Sep is attached here for your reference
Attached Thumbnails
Almost got fined for not wearing a mask-toi040920.jpeg  

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Old 9th September 2020, 20:25   #14
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

I am with the policeman here. The law is simple - you have to wear a mask as soon as you step out of the house. We can't expect every police personal to first look around if there are any other people and then based on number of people you have crossed right from your door, through the lift & till he caught up with you, issue you a ticket.

Call it stupid or what ever you want but with this around it is better to be safe then sorry.
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Old 9th September 2020, 20:34   #15
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Default re: Almost got fined for not wearing a mask

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik0502 View Post
I completely sympathise with you. I have faced something worse than what you went through. I was driving through a National Highway. There was a check post where I was stopped. The moment I rolled the window down the cop took a picture of me and then asked me to get down from the car I took my mask wore it snd got down from the car. He took me to the inspector who asked me to pay fine for not wearing a mask......
And I sympathize with you. If this was May end or June, the police would be far to scared to even approach a car to check why it's on the road! But now a new law has given them a new energy. All of us know about the saying about putting a weapon in the hands of a monkey.
Why, in May, a policeman had actually called me up asking for an explanation as to why he shouldn't slap section 188 of the epidemic act on one of my patient who was traveling from his village to consult with me at a tertiary care hospital, just because he didn't believe him!

Last edited by khan_sultan : 10th September 2020 at 08:00. Reason: trimmed quoted post
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