Jumping the signal – law enforcers or law breakers?
I havent jumped a red signal ever – and apart from good traffic sense, an incident about a few months after I started driving served to instil the “Dont jump a red signal” rule even more forcefully.
It was at Tiffany’s junction where Kasturba Rd, Vittal Mallya Road, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road from etc., – 6 in all meet.
I was right up on the line on my side. As was my wont then, I was the first one off once we got a green – and before I could blink, an auto came speeding from the Kasturba Road, slammed into my bike – missing my leg by an inch or so – and flew, yes, flew into the opposite side of Kasturba road. Luckily, for everyone else, it did not hit anyone/anything else. And the guy escaped (constable borrowed someone’s scoot to give chase).
Ever since – I try not to be first to get off on a green.
So when I read about an ACP breaking the law – and a red signal, at that, it incensed me, to say the least.
Swaroop Srinath writes about a cop who he saw breaking a red light, and who later turned out to be the Assistant Commisioner of Police:
I was riding my motorbike on St. John’s Church Road and stopped for a red light at the junction where Cavalry Road ends, and Wheeler Road begins. (It is little known that this junction is called Prof.A.M. Dharmalingam Circle, for the only indication to this effect is a much vandalised, faded yellow board on a pavement. Note, there is also no circle.) All lights for pedestrians were green. On the opposite end of the junction (coming from Ulsoor Lake), I saw a traffic patrol car stop briefly at the signal. Tata Sumo, with “TRAFFIC POLICE” printed on the sides. In it was a constable (at the wheel), and an officer beside him. Defying all logic, and breaking the very rules they are meant to uphold, these guys just jumped the signal!! They turned right, onto Wheeler Road, and sped away!! My jaw dropped. I knew these guys were a degenerate lot, but this one was an officer, for god’s sake!!
And Srinath, on a rush of adrenalin followed the guy, and got these details of Name, Rank and Vehicle number:
ACP M. Krishnamurthy
Apparently, that wasnt the first time the same ACP’s behaviour was unbecoming of his rank and duty.
This is not to be confused as painting all of Bangalore’s police as bad, btw. There have been a couple of times when I have personally seen them respond admirably. But, the ACP does need to be punished.