Bangalore, March 26: Of late, commuters in India's tech-city Bangalore are confronting a bizarre situation. Most of the drivers/riders don't know how to react to the situation. Instead of real traffic cops managing busy roads in the city, "cardboard" police have replaced them.
The life-size cardboard cut-out of traffic cops could be seen in few thoroughfares of the city. Police says the move was to reduce traffic offences on roads. But, the real issue is that Bangalore City Traffic Police is short-staffed.
Sources say Bangalore needs around 6,000 traffic cops to patrol its roads, but currently it has only 3,000 personnel. Thus, the traffic department has come up with an "innovative" idea. Till now, three cardboard cut-outs were put in various locations. One of the cardboard cops can be found near the office of Police Commissioner of Bangalore in the city.
However, one of them was stolen recently.
Many wonder whether it would deter traffic violators?
"How long police can hoodwink drivers? Bangalore drivers/riders are infamous for violating traffic rules. Now, they will get more chances to violate rules," said Pallavi Raj, a media executive.
But, police has a different take on the issue.
"Many Indian drivers will only obey traffic rules if they think law enforcers will reach out and apprehend them and we can't be omnipresent," additional Bangalore police commissioner M.A. Saleem said.
"Drivers in Indian cities violate traffic rules when there are no cops around -- they jump traffic lights and go the wrong way on one-way streets," he said.
"These cutout cops are very effective and they can be on the job seven days a week," Saleem added.