Rules and regulations: Traffic laws are for everyone (almost)

Wardens say police officers are not fined due to the possible repercussions.


Rameez Khan June 26, 2011

LAHORE:


Government employees and police officials have been advised to follow traffic rules like everyone else in the city, according to a statement issued by City Traffic Officer (CTO) Ahmad Mobin. Traffic wardens, however, seem to disagree, labeling the statement as mere rhetoric.


CTO Mobin wants government employees and police personnel to set an example and follow traffic rules. He said, in his statement, that any vehicle found violating traffic rules should be fined regardless of who the owner is.

He added that strict departmental action will be taken against any traffic warden found violating traffic laws.

Traffic wardens, however, fear fining a police officer for traffic rule violations as they do not want to cause friction between the two forces.

A traffic warden, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that police personnel are not fined as the two forces are like brothers. He said sometimes wardens also need to file applications against violators who turn aggressive and there is concern that if they start fining the police they would not register their complaints.

A warden on duty at Jail Road was not aware of any orders regarding fining police officials if they were caught violating traffic rules but he did say that he would be quite apprehensive doing it. He said that when police officials were caught they had a standard excuse, an emergency that required them to break all rules. This, he added, meant that wardens had to let them go. No one has the wardens’ back if they fine a police officer, the traffic warden lamented.

A warden deployed at Cantt recounted how when he recently flagged down a student astride a motorcycle breaking a traffic signal, the pillion rider turned out to be a constable.  The constable had told the student to ignore the signal considering there would be no repercussions.

Former Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Pervez Rathore had told traffic wardens to maintain a daily record of such violations and give out a challan to any police officer breaking the law. A traffic warden on The Mall said during Rathore’s tenure wardens went as far as issuing tickets to army vehicles when they broke a traffic rule. Today, he said, if wardens even file an application with the CCPO’s office there is no action.

The warden added that some time back a speeding traffic police officer severely injured a lawyer in front of the Lahore High Court as he broke a traffic signal. Even in that case, he added, wardens had to inform higher-ups to intervene.

Saddar Traffic SP Asif Cheema told The Express Tribune that wardens do have a strong bond with police officers as they were one community. But, he said, the law applied to everyone. He said the police had launched a campaign against bikes and number plates on which ‘police’ was written. Such a campaign, Cheema declared, showed the intentions of the city’s police towards traffic laws.

City Traffic SP Mustafa Hameed Malik said that the reason for launching a campaign was not to generate revenue, rather it was to make people realise there were consequences to flouting the law. He said in most cases, the police officers were not from the warden’s precinct so fining them was not a big issue. Malik said he had fined police officers for breaking the law.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2011.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read