Make way for a practical solution

The traffic police prefer using wheel clamps instead of towing vehicles to check cases of illegal parking

Make way for a practical solution

The Bangalore traffic police are on a clamp down mode. Though they plan to
procure towing vehicles for all the 42 police stations in the City, they are firm on
using their clamps, more than the towing vehicles, to nail errant motorists who park in ‘no parking’ zones.

Additional Commissioner of Police M A Saleem says that he has been getting
complaints about money being demanded by those accompanying the towing
vehicles.

It is such charges of corruption that have made the traffic police
avoid using the existing towing vehicles.


Even the new ones will be used only if they are absolutely necessary.
Saleem tells Metrolife that it is far more profitable to ‘hire purchase’ these towing vehicles rather than own them.


“Maintenance of the vehicle and the staff and manning these vehicles is our biggest concern. We have to depute an inspector for each of the vehicles. We are short-staffed and unable to spare the people we have at the moment,” explains Saleem. He informs that a couple of police officers have also been suspended on charges of corruption.


He further reasons that using clamps not only checks corruption but also reduces damage to vehicles.


“In case of clamps, people will have to get in touch with the jurisdictional police station for the release of their vehicle, which is a more practical solution,” he adds.
The traffic police claim that cases of illegal parking have reduced in the City.


According to statistics available with the traffic police, the last seven months saw 4,37,332 cases of illegal parking, 2011 saw 6,96,699 cases and 2010 had 5,20,505.
“We see a gradual decline in illegal parking, which is more common with two wheelers. The total fine amount collected toward illegal parking is Rs 300. We levy Rs 100 as fine and Rs 200 as towing charges,” he observes.


But people have mixed reactions to the issue of towing of vehicles.
They feel that the traffic police must not only clamp down on those who have illegally parked but ensure that the system is free of
corruption.


Vijesh N, a professional says, “Once the vehicle is towed, the cops must ensure that correct information is given to the owner of the vehicle. The owner is left in the lurch and has to run from one corner to another to get his vehicle back.”


He also thinks that using clamps, instead of towing vehicles, is a waste of money. “Any technology must be implemented with all sincerity,” he says.


Ajay Kumar, a businessman, says most people end up parking their vehicles in narrow lanes, thus further narrowing the street and making it impossible for
other vehicles to move.


“The cops never check the narrow streets. They must depute two or more towing vehicles in areas whereillegal parking is more. Traffic blocks in narrow lanes are often ignored,” Ajay says.

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