Metrolife: RJ Shruti talks road woes on activist show

Metrolife: RJ Shruti talks road woes on activist show

RJ Shruti, popularly known as Pat Pat Pataki Shruti, joined the ranks of cricketer Rahul Dravid and actor Sudeep when she was recently appointed as brand ambassador of Bengaluru Traffic Police. 

The RJ at 92.7 BIG FM has been tasked with spreading awareness about traffic rules and safety standards among Bengalureans. She talks to Rajitha Menon about what it means. 

What exactly does a traffic ambassador do?

The biggest issue that the traffic police is facing right now is wrath from the public, who feel that the cops are not friendly, do not adhere to rules themselves and charge fines unnecessarily. My role is to bring these two sides together.

How will you do that?

We have launched a programme called ‘Traffic Tuesday’ on 92.7 Big FM. Every Tuesday, I will have a traffic cop from one particular area on air and the listeners can call in with their concerns or doubts. 

Recently, I had Nanjundaiah from the Ulsoor Gate Police Station with me and I asked him the common problems they face. He was talking about the menace of ‘wheelies’ indulged in by kids between 16-20 years of age. Like that every traffic policeman has a different problem caused by different people in the area.

What questions do the listeners ask?

Recently we had someone who called in to ask whether it was mandatory for kids below five years of age to wear helmets. The traffic cop said it was definitely advisable and even mentioned that there were a lot of shops near MTR where you get small-size helmets. So we try to give real-time solutions to their issues.

How did you prepare for this task?

I did not take up this role just for the designation, I am doing it on an honorary basis. I also joined the Traffic Wardens’ Association, had an oath-taking ceremony and now I am traffic warden TW877. Whenever I get the time, I man the traffic in Malleswaram and Koramangala. I need to be on the road to be able to give my point of view and for the public to take me seriously. We have also created a group on Facebook called ‘Bangalore Traffic AID’. 

I have had a lot of complaints and videos sent to me, mostly anonymously. I forward it to the department and I was surprised to know that they resolved those issues within a span of 24 hours. 

There are many issues for which solutions lie entirely in the hands of the traffic police, like lack of pedestrian crossings...

We had a similar incident where a senior citizen called to say that he was unable to use the skywalk because he couldn’t climb the steps. And he pointed out there was no signal there so he was scared to cross the road. I told him about ‘Public Eye’, an app where you can highlight road issues. These are resolved immediately; the citizens just have to highlight the problem. 

Shruti says, "It is common knowledge that you need to carry your documents on the road. People are scared to carry originals with them all the time but xerox copies are not valid. There is an app called ‘DigiLocker’, run by the government of India,where you can download and keep your documents — the only app which is considered valid by the cops."

Traffic concerns

“Our roads are only capable of handling 50 lakh vehicles and we have touched 75 lakh. So these traffic issues are to be expected. I am trying to get people to understand that we are the traffic; if we have traffic concerns, we need to make an effort.” RJ Shruti

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