Click-tivism and Traffic Police

Bangalore traffic Police has a page on Facebook for communicating with public. How can we the public make use of this platform to ensure better engagement?

The blame game is one of the easiest to play — and Facebook turns out to be an unlikely source to drive home this point.  Take a look at the Bangalore Traffic Police’s (BTP) Facebook page.

The city’s traffic is chaotic,  the number of rule breakers is horrendous, and the number of  offenders pulled up or punished is a small fraction of those who deserve to be penalised.

True. But how many of us try to put ourselves in the shoes of the BTP, to  see  whether the blame is all  to be laid solely at their doors, for this state of affairs?

While it is not possible  for the BTP to tell each one of us about the steps they are taking to deal with the situation  or keep us abreast of the action taken against individual offenders, such social networking paltforms, enhance their reach and help us, not only to know about the action being taken but also to become aware of the problems that BTP itself faces in tackling problems.

One of the issues the police team has posted online is traffic congestion around Embassy Golf Links (EGL), on inner ring road, Koramangala, BTP says their hands have been tied in trying to solve the problem at the intersection, where 20,000 employees are reported to turn up daily in 8,000 vehicles, in two hours of the rush period, morning and evening.  BWSSB has dug up the approach road for pipe laying, and suggestions from the police department to EGL for  easing the daily clogging, have  not brought the kind of responses that would help resolve the jams.  

At Manyata Tech Park, Hebbal, too road users face a similar problem. There are other places, surely, around the city, where a solution is needed..

"Join hands to solve the problem" says the police comment, which is the crux of not just this daily pile-up at this junction but in most civic problems that we have  in the city. It is marvellous that citizens take pictures of offending vehicles and post it, for follow up action. I used to note down numbers of vehicles that I see violating traffic rules, jumping lights or overtaking on the left. Not everyone can have a camera handy, to take pictures but noting down numbers is an option

One comment on the website is from a person who got robbed by an auto rickshaw driver after dark — if he had noted down the vehicle number or the DL number (it is mandatory to display this inside the auto) he could have helped nab the culprit. I always, always,  note down the DL as soon as I get into an auto  — one driver took offence, and I told him I was noting it down so that if I left a bag behind because I am absent-minded, I could at least try to trace it — and that pacified him and he even became solicitous). If the DL is not displayed, I ask for it, and often the driver tells me he has put it away because some boys who rode in his vehicle had torn it off for fun ….which means that we need to blame not just auto drivers but also such social pests).

Why don’t we link hands, work with the authorities, on such platforms where BTP or BWSSB or BBMP can  access our comments as well as share their  own constraints with us? I see a few names recurring among those whose comments appear  on the BTP page, perhaps what we need is more names, more residents’ inputs, so that we work in conjunction with, rather than confronting, these government organisations.

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