The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 4 , 2014
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Facebook friends for better traffic

- Citizen policing goes online, people post parking rule violation pictures

Citizen policing, especially implementing traffic rules, could not have been better without Facebook.

Like their counterparts in Delhi, Calcutta, Hyderabad and many other cities, traffic police in the city have taken recourse to the popular social networking site for taking complaints, suggestions and even criticisms.

Although most of the forces in other cities created community pages the Patna traffic police have made a profile, “Sptraffic Patna”, to connect to the people, particularly youngsters.

The Facebook profile, formed on February 27, has turned out to be quite popular within four days with comments and posts flooding in. With police having stated that people can upload pictures and videos in the account if they spot a traffic offence and also of cops who allegedly indulge in bribery, things have started to move and actions also happening, the police claimed.

On March 1, one Ranveer Kumar uploaded the picture of a white SUV standing at a no-parking zone near Reserve Bank of India. “The registration number of the vehicle could be seen in the picture. Immediately, we contacted the district transport office after which a notice was sent to its owner. The practice has been sent on a positive note and action is being initiated and the same will follow,” a police officer said.

With close to 200 people becoming “friends” with the Patna traffic superintendent of police’s profile in just five days, the men in uniform feel the initiative would go a long way in changing the way of the citizens.

Ranveer Kumar, whose picture of the SUV had seen immediate action, had posted more pictures of vehicles parked near the same area.

Traffic SP Rajeev Mishra said he goes through each of the comments and pictures. “The Facebook profile seems to have clicked too. We are receiving a lot of comments, complaints and suggestions. However, not all of them are related to traffic issues but we are doing our bit and transferring them to the departments and agencies concerned. It’s a good sign that the people are participating,” he added.Rohit Raj came out with a grab from a vernacular daily, posting: “It has been made mandatory for autorickshaw drivers to attach the route chart and rates of different areas. It was also said that overloading in autorickshaws was not allowed. However, the same has not been implemented. Take action fast.”

Observation like this has come up from some other “friends”, too. Ashutosh Kumar pointed out a different problem. “While coming from the Kankerbagh side of the Chiraiyatand bridge towards Exhibition Road, I observe a lot of cyclist plying on the bridge on the wrong side,” he posted.