Whenever there is an increase in traffic fines, the traffic cops reap the benefit: no one likes to be asked to “drive to the station” for simple human infractions such as driving two points over the speed limit, driving over an already dead animal on the road, reversing on the road from a residential gap even though it is safe to do so, driving through an amber light when it came on about a second ago, etc.
Most times the driver is placed on station bail, rather than facing court the matter is then settled. The bail money in most cases is left for who saved the driver from a day in court. In many cases, traffic cops feel themselves to be demigods while on the road. Their judgements are always accurate, they brook no explanation or pleading. Many drivers are willing to pay a few thousand of dollars rather than spending a day in court.
Editor, in the guise of making our roads safer, police have been unleashed on the drivers in the most squeamish of ways. In a few cases police take advantage of a situation like the Timehri stretch which carries an unrealistic speed limit of fifty kilometers per hour.
How really are our traffic cops trained? Is it to seek and pounce or is it to act as deterrent to law breaking by being visible? While our police needs to be visible, the prime purpose is not to profit from other’s ignorance. The police must be humane and be able to caution and advise motorists. Not as soon as someone makes a slip must they enforce “drive to the station”, or delay the motorist at the side of the road indefinitely. Humanely in the sense that they are also human; there are people who have to meet an appointment, catch a plane, catch a boat, see a doctor, and very many other reasons why a bus must not be emptied of its passengers, or delayed unreasonably at the station or by the road. Police on the roads must display this humane quality, reprimand a driver, advise a driver on his error and please, not always trying to deprive a driver of a few thousand dollars which might be for the purchase of books for a child, medicine for the sick or aged.
While there are some cops who are fine examples to the force, there are others who only pick on inexperienced and young drivers to hassle. I wonder whether all of the traffic ranks on our roads can really pass a road traffic written and practical tests?
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