If you are jumping a red light or not wearing seat belts or helmets while driving in the City Beautiful, you may end up getting booked for these traffic violations even if the traffic policemen are not watching.
The reason: City residents are increasingly playing vigilantes by clicking pictures of traffic violators and sending it to the Whatsapp number - 9779580985 - started by the Chandigarh Traffic Police in 2014.
On this helpline number, the traffic wing of the police department on average receives pictures of over 50 violations including red light jumps, zebra crossing, wrong parking of vehicles, not wearing seat belts and helmets.
Besides this, the helpline number also receives more than 30 calls per day. All these complaints by citizens concern violations not witnessed
by the traffic police.
More than 777 complaints have been received in month of March so far. The Chandigarh Traffic Police promptly acts on such complaints and
issues traffic violation information slips to the traffic rules violators by tracking them through the registration number of the concerned vehicle. In order to ensure legal action against the violators, complainants are required to send traffic violation images with date, time and place of violation along with sender’s complete name and address.
The senior superintendent of police (SSP) Eish Singhal told The Statesman that apart from receiving complaints, police is also getting
suggestion on various issues through their social media helpline number.
“The helpline keeps the sender anonymous which itself make people believe in our system. Apart from complaints, their suggestions are
kept in mind. The helpline has become our identity and the team working on it, has already been directed to react quickly for timely
reddressal of the grievances of the complainants,” he added.
The SSP said with the help of this helpline number, Chandigarh Police has succeeded in gaining a lot of support from the public. Interestingly, the helpline number is also receiving complaints concerning to other departments as among the suggestions offered by the people include the issue relating to road blockage, water and electricity.