Public Can Lodge Complaints Against Traffic Police For Talking and Browsing on Mobile Phone While on Duty: Kerala HC – Law Trend

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The Kerala HC on Tuesday stated that the public can lodge complaints by sending videos of traffic police talking and browsing on mobile phones.
The bench of Justice Amit Rawal observed that “despite the order, many stage carriages, transport bus operators are still using the pressure horns which have been installed at the extreme right side of the vehicle with a joystick. They are impelled to use the same instead of normal horn in case of any necessity which would be arduous for the local police to overcome such problems.”
In this case, an action taken report has been filed on behalf of the Assistant Commissioner of Police intimating that inadvertent parking of the vehicles on the roads, creates congestion which is only on account of insufficient parking space for the vehicles of the staff, Advocates and general public who visit the High Court for urgent Court matters.
The bench issued few directions as follows:
1.     the Traffic Police is directed to ensure that all the owners of the transporters have removed the facility of pressure horns from all the private, official transports and auto rickshaws.
2.     Two toll-free telephone numbers should be painted/affixed or be notified in every stage carriage vehicle and auto rickshaws for lodging complaints by the passengers, in case any of the drivers of the transport bus etc indulge into the violation. On receipt of such a complaint, the police would take action in accordance with the law after due verification.
3.     It has also been noticed that auto rickshaws and bus operators stop at their convenience for taking up the passengers and not at the dedicated stops. Traffic Police is directed to issue directions to the transporters and further directions to drivers not to stop for alighting or taking the passengers except at the dedicated stops, failing which violators should be dealt with in accordance with law.
4.     Auto-rickshaws may be sensitized not to turn immediately on right turn side without looking at the back-view or side mirror. It has been found that few of the auto rickshaws are lacking the facility of the back-view or side mirror, which is very essential for driving. Police Commissioner is directed to ensure that all the auto rickshaws/buses are equipped with side view and back-view mirrors.
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5.     Police Commissioner is directed to sensitize all the traffic cops to be alert as it has been mostly found that they are perpetually on their mobile phones while on duty. In case any of the traffic cops is found indulging into talking except urgent official or emergency calls and browsing the mobile phone while on duty any person noticing the same can upload the video in the aforementioned telephone numbers and permitted to lodge a complaint.
6.     Traffic Police is directed to challan the vehicles parked on the Marine Drive Road when there is sufficient parking place in the ground as parking space has already been awarded to a contractor and in case such action is not taken, the Police Commissioner will take disciplinary action against the erring police officials who are not following the rules.
7.     Sign boards of ‘No Horn’ or ‘Silence Zone’ should be installed within three weeks at already identified places noticed in the action taken report.
The High Court listed the matter on 31.08.2022.
Case Title: Aboobacker K.A. v. Joint Regional Transport Officer
Bench: Justice Amit Rawal
Citation: WP(C) NO. 13238 OF 2022
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