Officers on traffic duty on the city streets have been asked to avoid close-conversation with offenders of traffic rules and keep away from either collecting spot fines or seizing documents physically.
The move follows an exponential rise in the number of police personnel testing Covid positive over the last two weeks leaving the police force stretched to its capacity.
Over 100 personnel across the rank and file have tested positive over the last two days forcing senior officers in Lalbazar to come up with special instructions aimed at reducing chances of contracting the virus by cutting down on interactions.
“All prosecutions will now be citation cases wherein the offender will receive an
intimation of his alleged violation of the traffic rules via SMS,” said a senior officer of Kolkata police overseeing traffic movement.
“No fines will be collected in cash....”
Traffic sergeants and other personnel across all the 25 traffic guards have been asked to take down the registration number of a vehicle if the driver was found to be violating any of the norms, including jumping traffic signals, disobeying “No-Entry” or “No U-turn” rules or speeding.
The vehicle’s number will be then forwarded to the traffic cell in Lalbazar where the date, time and location is noted down. A text message will then be sent to the vehicle owner’s mobile number registered with the transport department.
“If a constable spots a driver riding a two-wheeler without helmet he would be earlier asked to stop and booked on the spot. Now, the registration number will be noted down and sent to Lalbazar for processing,” a senior officer of Tiljala traffic guard said.
Unless imperative, traffic sergeants have been asked to keep away from engaging with anyone found to be violating traffic rules.
All officers have been told to ensure that precautions were in place before and after completion of duties across all the traffic guards and there was adequate supply of sanitisers, masks and gloves.
Police stations and traffic guards will have to identify rooms where someone complaining of weakness may be shifted till the person is tested.
“There could be a requirement of the forces from Lalbazar for the ensuing civic elections in Bidhannagar on January 22. It is of utmost importance that we try and keep the number of Covid positive to as low as possible,” said a senior officer.
Kolkata police have already ensured one does not have to turn up at a police station physically to lodge a complaint. A person can do so on a WhatsApp number that has been made available outside police stations.