Delhi Traffic Police, offence and penal section


a rare sight in Delhi (and I don’t mean the Jaguar)

I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning, when I saw the Delhi Traffic Police approaching the driver of a Jaguar (!) car. The guy’s offence: he had crossed the stop line in front of a red light (which happens nearly every time at this crossing… or for that matter, anywhere in Delhi).

— By the way: I heard of a study pointing out that more than half of Delhi’s professional drivers think the white lines on the roads are “just for orientation”, and not marking any lanes they have to stick to.

Anyway, so the policeman asked the Jaguar driver to pull over. And then he was actually writing a ticket for him, instead of pocketing a bribe.

Later on I learnt from @sethrishi that the fining wasn’t such an amazing thing, because the car is registered in Ludhiana, a city in Punjab. “I’d wait till they stop a Delhi registered car,” he wrote via Twitter. I really see his point and will keep my eyes open (presumably in vain).

Later on my colleague told me of her experiences as a commuter. Once she got told by a policeman that each police station has to write a certain amount of tickets each month. So when they need some more in the end, they swarm out and fine people for things they normally overlook. Like crossing white lines. So it happened to her.

The other day she was making a U-turn where she wasn’t allowed to do so. Police jumped out from behind a tree and stopped her. The penalty for that offence is 1000 rupees (here is the list of what costs what), and as her driver was following her in the second family car, this turn would have amounted to 2000 rupees.

She rummaged around in her bag and first found a 500-rupee-note. While she took it out and wanted to reach into the bag for more, the policeman took the note and said: Okay, you can go. “So what do you do?” my colleague asked. “Insisting on getting a bill and pay 1500 more?” She decided to drive off.

By the way, above mentioned list brings to light some interesting perceptions of the Delhi police on traffic violations. Whereas red light jumping is fined with only 100 rupees (1,2 Euro), over speeding costs 400 rupees. It’s also forbidden to drive without horn – but there is no fee for honking inside the city (okay, that is not overly surprising).

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