City traffic cops ready to tweet for GenNext?
Sources : Times News Network
Date of Publishing:08/07/2010
Hyderabad: To hook 'Gen-Next' of the city on to traffic rules, Hyderabad police are toying with an innovative approach of 'tweeting' and 'posting' on popular social networking sites for better traffic enforcement.
According to police, the social networking sites could be used in a very effective manner. People can post photographs of number plate violations, red signal jumping, illegal parking, footpath encroachment, with time and location and assist police in taking corrective measures. Grievances could also be properly conveyed with the help of audio and video tools.
Police can also post information related to traffic jams, traffic restrictions, diversions, traffic rules and details of penalties for a variety of offences.
The GenNext, which comprises about 30 per cent of road-users and more importantly 60 per cent of traffic violators, spend most of their time online logging onto various social networking sites. "So, we want to engage them in their own way," additional commissioner of police C V Anand said.
As part of the special drive against fancy registration number plates between June 14 and July 6, the Hyderabad traffic police slapped fines on 2,948 vehicle owners and collected Rs 30 lakhs. Though the fine amount is quite handsome, police noticed that awareness levels have not increased with the drive. However, recently one of the fancy number plate makers from the city, who has several rich clientele in Banjara and Jubilee Hills, posted a message on his Facebook 'wall' saying that fancy number can attract a fine up to Rs 5,000 and police are implementing the rule 192 (1) of the MV Act strictly. There was a huge response to the message from his customers. "In fact, the response set the ball rolling for our idea to tap social networking sites," the additional CP said.
In the US, social networking sites have been widely used by law enforcement authorities to alert citizens and, in turn, get alerted by them. The idea has already been put to use by the Delhi traffic police in the country, who have seen very good response by taking the social networking route.
About 11,400 people are following 'Delhi Traffic Police' account on the Facebook and everyday there are about 1,000 posts on the 'wall'. Most of the posts from the people are about grievances and photographs of traffic rule violators with time and location.
Similarly, they have a twitter account 'dtptraffic' followed by 1,056 persons to get instant updates about traffic condition at various places in that city. Impressed with the response, the Hyderabad traffic cops are working out on setting up a similar system here.
"The system is simple. We need three home guards, who can read and write in English and operate the social networking accounts, and senior traffic officials will also monitor the accounts," Anand said.
The additional CP said they were working on the logistics to implement the system. "Once it is on, traffic DCPs and ACPs will constantly monitor it and reply to posts or tweets," he added.
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