Birth of a Signal Jumper
I have never jumped a traffic signal before. Not sure why i haven’t tried it but still I have always felt that jumping a signal is sheer ignorance coz it cant be more simple. Red – Stop , Amber – Wait, Green – Go. I have paid fines a couple times for overspeeding and lane changing. But still no signal jumps. I am not saying that i am Mahatma on a Motor bike. But seriously i have stood in front of angry 21G Drivers who honk at you irrespective of Red/Green Signal. I have ignored the ‘saavugrakki’ scolding of Auto Drivers who are supposedly exempted from all possible traffic rules. I have even got the ‘stare’ sometimes from 40 year old auntys on Scootys who jump a signal. NOT ANYMORE.
I started early from office today. 6:30. Its Friday i was happy and wasnt in a hasty mood at all. So i was driving at a less than regular speed at the OMR , the road on which my office is located. There wasnt much traffic and everything was smooth until a Police Constable blocked me and waved me to the side. I had just crossed a signal and was driving at 30 kmph max. So i wasnt sure why i was stopped at the first place. After all the usual licence, RC Book, Insurance Drama the constable told SIGNAL JUMP. I was and am 200 % confident that i saw green lights before passing. I tried to tell the same to the SI and he told “Engalallam paatha unakku kena paya maari theriyutha”. He wrote two receipts from two booklets and asked me to sign. The fine was Rs.300. After fighting for 10 mins, After knowing that nothing can be done, i gave the money and drove off. There, this is what happened. But there are certain things which heavily disturb me from this incident.
1. The constables always catch the people who seem to slow down after they wave at you. There were a couple of guys driving alongside me who raced off seeing the police. He didnt even turn back or make any steps to stop the speeding guys.
2. In the short 15 mins for which i was standing there i noted one thing. THEY CATCH TWO GUYS FOR EVERY SIGNAL CHANGE. Every time the signal drops off they try to stop the last 5 bikes irrespective whether they come clean or jump the signal. Out of which they succeed in stopping 2-3 bikes.
3. The signal in OMR in which i was caught, drops once in 90 seconds. i.e Green stays for 90 secs and changes to Red which also stays for 90 seconds. In that case they catch 2 guys every 180 seconds. 300 X 2 = 600 for every 3 mins. Just calculate the collection for 1 hour.
4. All this crap happens only after 25th of a month. Is the traffic police paid to work only after 25th ? I have not seen a single cop in OMR for the past 20 days. They seem to spawn after 25th. Checkposts, Speed Guns, Patrol. All after 25th.
5. When i looked at the people who were standing beside me to pay fine, i saw all IT guys. Yes, OMR is the IT corridor. But still bunch of guys with visible ID cards on the belt and a black liviya bag on the shoulder is definitely disturbing. Two fellows who paid before didnt even ask a thing! 300. No questions asked.
6. The Best part of this whole series is what i realized after coming home. Lets look at the receipts i got.
There’s no official seal or any name of any department, anything at all in the first sheet! I have heard before that Police have been accused of printing their own receipt books, this may be it. Thats okay, the main thing is the set of offences listed in the back of the sheet. Lookie look. Signal Violation. U/s 177. Rs.50!!! Dei entha oor gnayam da ithu. Cheating mela Cheating.
Look at the next receipt, he seems to have scribbled an offense code on it. On careful examination i found out that he had wrote U/s 183(2) Whattay genius. Thats the code for overspeeding and yes it costs Rs.300! So its all pre planned. Catch a bunch of guys on an evening. Get extra money. Kick start the new month with a celebration ?
All right this is the result of my ignorance. Let this 300 be an investment. Now that i know the fines and their cheap tactics I am going to do one thing. JUMP EVERY SIGNAL POSSIBLE. Mostly jump the same signal and try to get caught by the same set of clowns. Wait till he writes everything and show this list of offences and fines to him. Or even better, jump the signal, speed off and flip the constable. Traffic Police will keep preying on the people who obey rules as they are the most vulnerable group of them all. This should be stopped. At whatever expense.
A Signal Jumper is born.