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Old 11th July 2021, 10:58   #1
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Default Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Most of my initial years of driving was in Mumbai. This was from the late seventies to late nineties.

The traffic cops were trim and usually operated in groups. If you skipped a red light you were bound to be stopped immediately after crossing it or at the next junction by another set of cops, alerted by their counterparts. Mumbai traffic cops were feared and respected. If you were in the rightmost lane, you HAD to turn right, period.

Once I parked in a market area, where you were supposed to park on even days on one side of the road and on the other side, on odd days. I made sure I parked right under the no parking on even dates sign, supremely confident of my knowing which day it was.

Well, when I returned to my car ten minutes later, it was in the process of getting towed away. I remonstrated with the cops, only to be made to realize that I was parked on the prohibited side of the road that day! After paying the fine from that day onwards I recheck the date and time of the day whenever I park!

Dr P.S. Pasricha was the head of traffic police for a few years, during which time he opened the dialog with road users. It was he who popularised the sentence, " the traffic discipline on our roads is a reflection of the culture of our society".

BEST buses follow traffic rules and stop at their designated stops. Taxis too stick to rules and by and large driving is a predictable experience.

The road users were generally disciplined and feared the Mumbai Traffic police. I don't know the situation now.

Cut to Namma Bengaluru. I've been driving here from the late nineties.

The traffic cops here are a much hassled lot, dealing with a variety of traffic mainly 2/3 wheelers who think that they can turn 360 degrees and drive in whichever direction they want to.

The cops here were generally more user friendly and when they see someone break a traffic light, they just wrung their hands in despair.

People have no sense of lane discipline and the cops benignly watch as the auto in the leftmost lane does an acrobatic right turn at a traffic junction, narrowly missing several vehicles throttling to go straight!

One sight i remember is that of a fool hardy traffic cop trying to flag down an errant motorist by standing in his path, almost committing harakiri! Typically it is one policeman against the vile traffic, with no back up, no wireless messages going out to the next junction cop.
Another difference between the cops in Mumbai and in Bengaluru is that most Mumbai cops are equipped with motorcycles - if they need to pursue a particularly unlucky motorist.

Things are slowly changing in Bengaluru too. Fines based on traffic camera captured violations are happening. Traffic cops now work in groups, though at times one sees them lounging around rather than watching the traffic.

The friendly ( and benevolent,) nature of the Bengaluru cop revealed itself to me yesterday. As I was driving on Sarjapur road towards Decathlon, a posse of traffic cops flagged me down at 11 am. I could see some 2 wheelers and a truck stopped, too. I stopped and lowered my window. " Do you have all the relevant documents, Sir" asked the cop, in Kannada. " Yes, I do. What particular document do you want to see?" I asked. By now a senior cop had joined the first one. " He says he has all the documents, Sir " , said the first cop. The senior cop peered towards me. " Oh, Senior citizen, aa? Hogi saar (Go, Sir)"he said, " senior citizens will always follow rules and have all the documents", he said, as if explaining to his colleague.
" we shouldn't have stopped you."

So with a smile, I carried on.

Wonder how the traffic cops come across, in other cities?
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Old 11th July 2021, 12:07   #2
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sridhar C E View Post
If you were in the rightmost lane, you HAD to turn right, period.
I learnt this the hard way decades ago. I set off for Mumbai for the first time with a friend who claimed to know the roads. Mind you there were mobile phones back then, forget google maps. Anyway he was navigating when we suddenly came upon a fork and at the last moment he screamed "Left". So in typical Punekar fashion I did what came naturally. I switched lanes without bothering to observe I had crossed the continuous line.

Almost immediately I was pulled over by two cops who had observed everything. I explained this was my first time driving in Mumbai and my navigator friend was an idiot. Both the cops were quite amused and friendly. They told me, they expected Punekars to do this kind of stupidity and demanded 50/-

I had only a 100/- and I wistfully handed it over. I was shocked when he returned back 50/-. Not only that he pointed out a zebra crossing (I think its on Marine drive) where there is no road crossing but it definitely has a red light to help pedestrians cross. He was such a good natured fellow that he did not want me to suffer more financial losses that day!

On the other end of the spectrum, the most ruthless cop I have encountered was in Pune. Of course.
Here I was riding my bullet when suddenly a cop whistle commanded me to stop. A traffic cop instantly materialised by my side and haughtily informed me I had broken the red signal. I assured him it was amber. Soon an argument ensued and I learnt the lesson that the cop is always right.

Those were college days and my world ran on pocket money. I pleaded I was a mere student and had no money. In fact I even showed him a wallet containing the single 2/- rupee note. And that ****** took it. I was so mad about this that I wished some pick pocket relieved him off his ill gotten gains. Or his wife ran away with the neighbour. Or both.

I have lived in Chennai for a year or so. Once while shifting houses I got pulled over and was told I had been over speeding. I couldnt believe my ears. I pointed out to my WagonR loaded full of my stuff (including one washing machine) and asked him was he sure. I was asked for my license and he vanished with it to consult his boss. He returned 45 minutes later and was told I was free to go.

Another experience but a pleasant one this time. Again from Pune.
I used to work in Hinjewadi that time and my daily route took me via Chandani Chowk. I had just got my WagonR and on the very first evening, a cop pulled me over. I was confused as I was definitely not speeding. Anyone who knows Chandani Chowk can assert its physically impossible. As I rolled down the window he asked me, when did you get the new car? I was shocked as I had already removed the flower garland. So I asked him how did he know and he replied I see you everyday but in the other car. I was zapped.
Anyway he congratulated me, we exchanged pleasantries and eventually I drove off.
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Old 26th July 2021, 10:48   #3
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

I have driven only on two locations within India - my home state of Kerala and Bengaluru where I worked until about 7 years back. My experiences with traffic are as follows:

Bengaluru - I lived in the garden city between 2008 and 2014. During this time I was stopped by traffic police on several occasions. Earlier experiences were singularly negative with the cops' only intention being cash grab. Personally felt embarrassed bargaining bribe with policemen in uniform. However, later experiences were polar opposite with policemen behaving professional, courteous, maybe even a tad apolegtic for my misfortune and there was always a challan involved. I don't know whether this was the forces improving or owed to the fact that I started looking less and less like a college kid.

Kerala: Comparatively very few instances over a period of close to two decades and the experiences were always positive. One memorable instance was way back 2006/7, immediately the helmet laws were made strict. I did not even own a helmet at the point when I was flagged down by the cops. The inspector approached with a smile and enquired whether I had been following the news. I gave some lame excuse and inspector let me go with the warning that next time there would be a petty case. Before leaving he told the constable to note down my bike's number and they had a whole notebook of numbers!

I don't ride two wheelers much nowadays. But whenever I do I always wear a helmet. In fact I am so used to it that I wear one for even short >500 metre distances. The same is the case with seat belts - wearing one is almost a reflex action now.
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Old 26th July 2021, 11:07   #4
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Have been stopped by traffic cops in Delhi, Hyderbad, Gurgaon. In none of the situations, did they come across as unreasonable or unprofessional. It is hard to believe but I have never been asked for a bribe. I was either challaned or let go with some advice on traffic rules.
Of all the lot, Hyderabad cops have had the best impression. I found their intention was more on educating people rather than penalizing which is truly commendable. But this was nearly a decade ago so not sure if things have changed now.
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Old 26th July 2021, 11:10   #5
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post
Those were college days and my world ran on pocket money. I pleaded I was a mere student and had no money. In fact I even showed him a wallet containing the single 2/- rupee note. And that ****** took it. I was so mad about this that I wished some pick pocket relieved him off his ill gotten gains.
Quoting myself from another thread:
Quote:
Random bitter experience - Took a U-turn at an unmarked signal in Koramangala and a cop pulled me over. It was night time, but he could see that it was a brand new bike. Asked me for an outrageous amount of 1500 bucks, even claiming to give me a "bill". I told him I didn't have that kind of money and that I was a student and parted with the sole 500 rupee note I had.
Some of these brutal cops just love taking unfair advantage of youngsters

As a pleasant change to the idiotic Bangalore cops though, are the ones I am seeing here in Kolkata right now. Most of them are friendly enough and help you out with directions (got lost near Howrah bus station once ).
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Old 26th July 2021, 11:41   #6
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sridhar C E View Post

Wonder how the traffic cops come across, in other cities?
I have had decent experiences as far as my memory goes across cities. However not all of them have gone by the book (read:bribes) but they have remained civil to an extent.

Mumbai:
- Multiple experiences of late night checks for drunk driving - always civilly done and minimal conversations if the 'test' doesn't reveal anything. Point to note - if a lady is driving, they don't ask them to do the 'test'.

- Pulled up once for having film on the windows. Was told firmly that this was not allowed and will be fined. Asked me to pay up a decent sum as fine (and a sly option of paying lesser as bribe). Told them I'll accept the fine option but only had card so was open to pay by swiping the card. After a short discussion with his senior, they asked me to pay whatever I had in my purse and move on. Paid some token amount and moved on.

Bangalore:
- Had stepped out about 3 weeks ago for a short local drive on a TN registered bike. Thought the stop was for that specifically and started searching for transfer related documents. But the cop(s) were quite courteous and informed the stop was for the pillion without a helmet. Charged 500Rs on the card against my DL #, receipt given and we are asked to go.

Chennai:
- Parents had an out-of-station car running in the city for a few years. Finally they were stopped at a routine checkpoint and asked about the GJ number plate. After the reasons were shared, the cops gently advised them to either transfer the vehicle asap or move it back to Gujarat. No fine was charged.
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Old 26th July 2021, 12:26   #7
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

I was trailblazing by wearing helmet as a pillion before it was a law in Bangalore.

Incidents in Bangalore:
1. Amusing one with my close friend: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/stree...-say-cops.html (Pillion wearing helmet = Criminals on bike, say Cops)

2. Unpleasant money grab: fined for doing 52 kmph on Mysore road (50 kmph was the limit apparently). My way or the highway insisted the rude cop - pay up INR 100 or leave your bike and walk home. I feel like the cops found a soft target (me - a college student) to meet their monthly targets.

3. Professional gentleman: I was doing about 65 kmph just after descending a flyover. I had to cough up INR 100. The cop was a pure gentleman compared to the one previous incident (#2). He told me about a traffic block on my route home and advised me of an alternate route.

Incident in Sunnyvale, CA:
1. What seemed like a case of mistaken identity resulted in a traffic stop at 2 AM. I had one drink(duh!!!) the entire evening, that too at 7 PM. All documents were checked and I was asked about my sobriety. Convinced that Iwas fine to drive and wasn't whom he was looking for, the cop indicated that I was doing 43mph in a 35mph zone and advised me to drive home safe.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 26th July 2021 at 12:27.
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Old 26th July 2021, 13:35   #8
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

This thread is going to open a Pandora’s Box for sure. Having traveled fairly over the years, I am just sharing some incidents across various cities. Please note that the experiences I had, are with individuals and in no way these incidents have a bearing on the whole traffic forces at work although a generic scenario can be well imagined

1. Being from West Bengal, I never had any unpleasant incident with the cops although around a decade back, one incident still sticks out. One policeman asked for my license while routinely checking papers one day and upon seeing that I am holding a license from the state of Assam, was about to fine me for driving without license !! I had to literally convince him to read the back of the license to make him understand that Assam is also a part of India !! It was hilarious since it was expected that he would know that a license issued from any state is valid throughout India.

2. This incident pertains to from Bihar and I have not really faced any harassments from them. It was election time and cops were doing random checks on the highways when almost three pickets stopped my car for checking. Exasperated, I politely told one of them that the car has been checked thrice already. He let me go with a smile saying they were only looking for cash and alcohol.

3. Not stereotyping but I have had pretty awful experiences with UP cops. Despite having all the required documents, cops will still accost you into giving some money. While I have avoided most of them, one particular cop stopped me in Lucknow in front of the most visible point in the city- Hazratgunj four point crossing. Upon seeing my WB registered car, asked for documents and not finding any fault told me to meet ‘bada saaheb’ or Head Sir who was sitting in a corner. Straightaway asked for 500 rupees and upon asking why, I got this answer- Itna duur se ghumne aaye hain, thoda humko bhi khush karke jaaiye (you have come from so far to see our place, make me happy as well) . I was adamant in not giving into this whimsical demand but finally had to relent since he wouldn’t let me go otherwise !! I have had such instances many times across the state.

4. The less said about the Chandigarh cops is better. It makes me sad that while local populace is not hassled, outstation cars are picked up for no reason. I even had the honour of getting stamped in the hand as a token of paying money to one of the city beats just before Zirakpur crossing and this when I had already travelled the whole of Punjab without any hassles and was returning to base !!

5. Have found cops in Andhra Pradesh to be friendly and not exactly money oriented much while the friendliest traffic police tag should go to Himachal Pradesh police. Chennai and Bangalore cops have not hassled me much so I won’t be able to say anything more or less about them anyways. Assam police is also notorious for making flimsy grounds to make money but if you are firm in your ground, not much of an issue.

6. Across India, traffic cops behave differently to outstation cars. This needs to change and will help a long way in making traffic rules uniform whether someone is driving in the home state or outside. Although, MV Act is uniform, after the new rules are applied, many states are still following the old MV Act and that creates confusion. I hope better sense somehow prevails although the chances of that happening is bleak
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Old 26th July 2021, 15:22   #9
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

My experience with traffic cops all over the world during the 25 years I have been driving has been surprisingly civil.

1. Educated and grew up in Kolkata and left for Bangalore for good in 1999.Totally uneventful except while driving an Amby - one case happened - of grazing by a private city commuter bus (yes, they had those in Kolkata - still do and yes, almost all are driven by maniacs!), right in front of a motorcycle borne Kolkata Police Sergeant - who challaned and put a case on the bus driver, asked me (I was in 2nd year of college) if I was ok and insisted to drive my car to one side and let me go after 10 minutes.

2. Over 22 years, stopped about 6 times in Bangalore, all in random checks for drunk drivers - never found in inebriated state - uneventful but yea, like other Bangalorean BHPians - 2 wheelers in Bangalore get my goat every time.

3. Lived 2 years in Suzhou, PRC - got stopped once because I drifted over the left lane. Surprisingly English speaking Chinese police stopped me, wagged his finger and said "Be careful" and let me go.

4. Lived three years in Singapore, went over the stop line about a foot in Armstrong Road, extremely polite Singaporean Chinese police cut me a challan and insisted I take a cab to the station, pay up and come back to pickup my car! He stood by the car, till I came back 15 minutes or so later and the Chinese police said in Tamil " This is not India you know!" and let me go.

That's about it so far.

Last edited by allinbalance : 26th July 2021 at 15:25.
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Old 27th July 2021, 10:24   #10
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

Had my fair share of misadventures with the cops all through my life, but the best example I have from recent days is in Bangalore. My friend who was driving (KL reg car) took a wrong U-turn and we were immediately stopped. I tried making up some excuses in broken Kannada though we both knew then that we were in the wrong. He fined 500 which my friend handed over and I told the cops 'thumba thanks sir' with a smile. My friend even gestured at me not to agitate him with my little Kannada but to our surprise, the officer retured the 500 and said it alright, he said your thank you is good enough!!!
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Old 27th July 2021, 10:34   #11
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

My driving has been limited to traveling in Kerala and Bangalore.
Experience has taught me never to mess with cops from Kerala, they are going to chase you down /wire you in. I feel the cops in Kerala are more empowered.
Off late, I have found cop harassment has been very high in Bangalore. This is to an extent wherein traffic snarls are created causing havoc on the roads. I no longer find them committed to their actual scope of work.
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Old 27th July 2021, 11:01   #12
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Originally Posted by RedTerrano View Post

And that ****** took it. I was so mad about this that I wished some pick pocket relieved him off his ill gotten gains. Or his wife ran away with the neighbour. Or both.

I have lived in Chennai for a year or so.
When I read this, i was like . Then the next statement made sense. We have enough Tamil movie references for cop experiences. But for cursing an errant cop the classic one was done by the veteran actress Manorama in the movie Aboorva Sagodharargal, railing against the police inspector played by Janagaraj. She said the same thing about the wife running away...
Pity many may not get this.

Happy motoring, ride safe, follow rules. In a side note with the traffic cameras and instant challans to the houses in Annanagar, Chennai, motorists are now driving better. Hope it lasts.
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Old 27th July 2021, 11:12   #13
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

My UG days were in Pondy. And Pondy at that time was an ocean of two wheelers with few cars here and there. Now the scene has changed completely. Clearly can feel the congestion there!
Anyways cut to chase, me and my friends were on a food hunt ( Bussy Street if I remember correctly). Well a car is quite easy to spot being the odd one out. And that too with a group of college guys made us a completely oblivious choice to stop. Then the following conversation took place between my friend (F) and the cop (C)
C : are you all drunk?
F. No sir. Sober and hungry, looking out for a new place to eat
C: Licence?
F: *hands him over*
C : Insurance and RC book
F : *hands him over*
C: the names don't match. Who's car is this?
F: This is my dad's car and he's given it to me for my use here
C: so that you can roam around get drunk and spoil your family's reputation
F : *confused* sir we were only looking for a place to eat. What's that got to do with this?
C : Well whatever happens to you is your family issue. To clarify do you have a written letter from your parents to have you allowed to drive their car?
F : *even more confused* Sir to drive arround, I believe that is not required. And I believe all my papers are in order. And even have documented proof that this indeed is my father's car which hasn't been transferred to my name!
C : since you don't have a letter, you'll have to pay fine of ₹100.
F : Will you give me a challan stating that I've to pay fine only because I don't have a permission letter from my parents?
C: Well I'm sorry, I can't give you that.
F : I too am sorry sir, being a college student I'm broke and we use cards for transction and barely carry physical cash. It's to ensure my parents keep track of my expenditure as well
C: How much you have?
F : *looks at all of our broke as**es* and *we all ravage our pockets for money* and * collectively bring out a lumpsum amount of ₹45!*
Sir we only have ₹45
C : I'll take that and let this be a lesson for you
F : If you'd told all you needed was money in the first place, we would've be gone for good! (Well that wasn't said out loud. We were baffled and quite astounded by the extent to which people droop down to make money. Well every penny counts)

Another encounter was in the streets of Bombay ( well I still call it that) The cops in Bombay are a complete contrast to the ones I met Pondy. They completely acknowledge if the fault was deliberate or accidental. And yes, being courteous helps. Just like the people of Bombay

This one's in Delhi. And Delhi being Delhi. Cops actually don't intervene with anything on the road. The cameras do all the work. One small mistake, a camera pops out of nowhere. The very evening there's a challan on the e-parivahan portal! Well I do believe Delhi TPs achieve much more that the set target of challans. And yes, spares the hassles of 'tu jaanta nahi mera baap kaun hai!'

Madras ( I'm not calling the city Chennai) is quite a weird encounter. The TPs don't bother the general public unless it's the months end or the driver did something actually reckless. It's a total different scene for commercial vehicles.
Coimbatore (not the Kongu naadu) is a mix and on the path to modernization. No-one goes uncaught here. The TPs have made people to stick to rules very well.

All my experiences have been with a car. I barely used two wheelers for commutes more than 5kms. We'll both the car and scooter I use were purchased at the same time. The car has clocked 50k kms while the scooter has just completed 3k kms!
Some cops are good too. These have been my encounters. I found TPs from Bombay to be very friendly and accomodating. And yes, being a doctor does have some perks on the road!

Last edited by Aravind_M92 : 27th July 2021 at 11:20.
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Old 27th July 2021, 11:17   #14
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Default Re: Experience with traffic police in different cities!

I wanna mention a incident that happened when we were leaving Jaipur late at night around 2-3 AM and driving towards Delhi in a rented Revv car with yellow plates. Everything was fine within Jaipur city limits even though we reached Jaipur at around 11 at night and was wandering the streets taking im the late night scene with a few friends. The car was a scorpio base model. At around 12-12:30 we realised that no hotel was accepting checkins late at night and since we had many drivers with experience we thought it'd be best to leave Jaipur and do the Delhi and sleep in the morning.

So we left Jaipur and I was driving the car and as we were about to leave the last check point , group of officers flagged our car down. I got down, asked what the problem was and the police wanted my licence. I gave it to him. Then he asked for car papers which also was provided to him. Everygthing was in place and valid. The another officer came and asked us about a interdistrict pass since the car was registered in Delhi and we were in Jaipur. I told then this is a rented car, and the told them the documents I had was all the company gave. He told me something about this being an offence and we needed a pass but nothing of that sort was asked to us when we were entering Jaipur. Maybe it was the late night, the rented car, the out of station car which the cops thought could get some money out of it. The cops took my license and told me he is issueing a challan and I have to go to court to get my license back.

Then came my friends and started doing what Everyone does when caught by a cop. Atlast we were cleaned up by 4K , got my license back and drove all the way to Delhi without any further delays. The 4 k we could have spent on food and diesel . With a heavy heart I thought never to take a rented car with a yellow number plate anywhere cause it attracts cops way too much esp cops looking to make some money .

Idk if the reason given to me by the cops was legit but taking 4k and letting us go was nowhere near legit.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 27th July 2021 at 11:23.
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Old 27th July 2021, 11:22   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
3. UP cops. Straightaway asked for 500 rupees and upon asking why, I got this answer- Itna duur se ghumne aaye hain, thoda humko bhi khush karke jaaiye (you have come from so far to see our place, make me happy as well) . I was adamant in not giving into this whimsical demand but finally had to relent since he wouldn’t let me go otherwise !!
In my experience, most traffic cops are like Crime Master GoGo (Aaya hoon to kuch na kuch le kar hi jaonga ). There will always be some or the other reason for which you will have to pay.

Gurgaon (HR): I was once offered a cash challan during a traffic mix-up at a signal. Took me a while to understand what he meant.
Most of the time, the cops in Gurgaon are worried only about catching bikers or goods carriers. And they put up these annoying barricades to make you do zig-zag while they are sitting under the shade of a near by tree sipping tea or dozing. Perhaps there is a course on how to make motorists' life miserable.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sridhar C E View Post
Once I parked in a market area, where you were supposed to park on even days on one side of the road and on the other side, on odd days. I made sure I parked right under the no parking on even dates sign, supremely confident of my knowing which day it was. Well, when I returned to my car ten minutes later, it was in the process of getting towed away.
Exactly similar odd-even incident happened with me in Pune when i stopped my 2W in front of a roadside vegetable seller right under a parking sign. I turned & bent down to pick up some veggies and the shop guy started loudly saying something in marathi. I turned around, two guys had already lifted my bike and were in the process of loading into the police truck. They were damn fast! While i was trying to talk to them, they started moving away. I had to chase and jump up into the back of truck when they braked to pick up the next bike. My plastic license card broke in the process and they let me go after taking Rs100.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABHI_1512 View Post
6. Across India, traffic cops behave differently to outstation cars.
This seriously gets me. I have been stopped in Rajasthan, UP and Bangalore just because the car had different state's registration. Not a good way of making people feel welcome in your state. (MP Police is actually respectful to cars from other states). Also a reason why i have apprehensions in taking a rental self-drive car across states.

Finally, a word of praise for Kolkata Traffic Police. I see people stopping well before stop lines, following lane discipline and hardly anyone jumps a signal. I found the cops to be very professional, well equipped with card machines to avoid bribes. (disclaimer: this is only a relative assessment when compared to other cities)
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