Manning roads: Mannequins as traffic cops in Bengaluru

"If the experiment works, the men in khaki would have mannequins with cameras in future to track vehicles," a police officer said. (Twitter photo/@kengeritrfps)

Police here have hit upon a novel idea of erecting mannequins dressed up like traffic personnel at certain key junctions to curb violators.

The law-breakers would now think twice before jumping a signal, accelerating above speed-limits or bending any other road rule after they spot the mannequins, police believe.

City additional commissioner (traffic) B R Ravikanthe Gowda told PTI that he came up with the idea after observing motorists putting on helmets, drivers fastening their seat- belts and stopping using mobile phones after they spot traffic policemen from a distance.

Taking a cue from their behaviour, police 'posted' these mannequins at half a dozen junctions here over the last two days, with plans to put 174 of them later if found successful.

"If the experiment works, the men in khaki would have mannequins with cameras in future to track vehicles and collect valid evidence to nail errant drivers or riders. Initially, motorists will be alert on seeing the mannequins, but will regret later that they had been fooled," he said.

"But soon as is their wont, they will become careless, thinking that mere dummies have been installed. Here comes the catch: One or two days later, they will drive casually without caring about traffic rules. It is then that real policemen will take over from the mannequins.

And law breakers would think twice before violating rules," he added. However, the idea has not gone down well with the police department. A top IPS officer rubbished the idea, saying 'unorthodox' practices have no place in the police force.

"You cannot enforce the law through such practices. People will not take the police department seriously, believing that the policemen lie and are bound to be stupid," the officer said on condition of anonymity. Junking the idea, he said it was neither a long-term solution to the traffic problem, nor would it lead to any outcome.

Wasteful expenditure and wasteful exercises have been done in the past by people, who did not believe in hard policing, but had faith in what is called 'light drama',which is no longer the case, he opined. 

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