KARACHI: Stuck in traffic? Want an update on the road situation? Can’t find parking anywhere? There’s no need to stress - the traffic police is ready to help.
This is a part of the traffic police department’s efforts to improve the police-public relationship. To help commuters, the traffic police is hosting a radio channel, updating their Twitter page regularly, they also have a helpline and a text message service to communicate and inform commuters of what routes to take.
According to ADIG Syed Salman, there are 3,200 constables to control the city’s traffic flow. Salman said that they were willing to manage everything with limited resources. “The first step was to change the colour of the uniforms and set up an integrated information cell,” he said, while speaking at a session on traffic management at the Urban Resource Centre on Wednesday evening. “We are planning to set up an electronic fine and a monitoring system next to stop corruption in the department.”
Dressing up for the job
Traffic policemen can now be seen dressed in smart grey uniforms at Teen Talwar and other areas of Clifton. According to the ADIG, this will be implemented soon all over the city. The white uniform, he said, was not practical for the job as a constable spent more than eight hours on the road and was exposed to pollution and harsh weather. The grey, he added, would give the uniforms a rejuvenating feel.
Besides a live radio transmission and helpline (1915), the traffic police is also running a text messaging service. By texting 8655, you can now get an update on the city’s traffic flow. According to Salman, it also provides commuters with alternative routes in case of traffic jams. You can subscribe to this service by texting 8655.
Where’s my car?
If your car was lifted, you can call 1915 or text the registration number to 694 to find out details available with the department’s information system. This service is, however, only available for areas in and around Zainab Market, Governor House and Mithadar.
According to the ADIG, they are trying to revamp the department. “The owner will be shown a picture of their vehicle that was parked in a no-parking zone to prove the charges,” he said. “Most of the time, people blame the police for removing their vehicle on false charges. This system will put an end to that.” He added that lifting charges for motorcycles (Rs200) and cars (Rs500) were fixed.
The department is also planning to introduce an electronic ticketing system to ensure that traffic violators are punished. Vehicles violating the law will be identified through a camera and a ticket asking them to pay the fine will be dispatched to their address immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2015.
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