Kolkata Police Traffic lesson 1: Shame public to enforce driving discipline

Kolkata Police is shaming drivers on its social media handles in a bid to make them aware of the traffic rules and avoid road accidents

Delhi, Chennai and Jaipur have the highest number of road crash deaths in India. But road accidents are also a common sight in the streets of Kolkata. The internet is full of incidents wherein common people and even the cops get killed in road accidents. Recently, a cop and an elderly woman were killed in two separate accidents near Barendrapara in Kolkata. In yet another incident, a road accident triggered massive clashes between locals and the police in the city’s Chingrighata area.

And now the Kolkata Police has found a new of disciplining its drivers — by publicly shaming them.

The agency recently asked netizens to share photographs and videos of those using their mobile phones while driving on their WhatsApp. As per the directive from the West Bengal Transport Department, the police would take into account CCTV footage as evidence against the driver following which his driving license would be suspended.

In addition to this, if drivers from the South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC) and the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) are found using mobile phones on duty, they would be fined and suspended immediately.

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While the move has been welcomed by some who believe that it’s a nice initiative, others warned Kolkata Police to exercise caution while shaming the public. On an average, 20-25 photos are being sent to Kolkata Police’s WhatsApp number, The Times of India reported. The police recently upload five such images on their Facebook page. Check out their post here:

A netizen who goes by the name of Biplab Das pointed out a flaw in the initiative. He wrote on Kolkata Police’s Facebook page,

“But snaps can be misleading, how do you understand whether the driver or rider is in motion just by seeing the snaps? I also talk while in my vehicle by after stopping it. If any one clicks it and sends it to KP, then I will be penalised. Not a foolproof solution.”

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“Indeed the saint is a good initiative. But what a still picture is possible that the driver was talking to the car or stop the car on the road, or to drive the car to drive the car. Watch the second picture,” wrote another Facebook user Pradip Kundu.

Do you agree with Kolkata Police’s initiative of shaming drivers publicly as a way of making the roads safer?