More than 10 months after launching a scheme to get citizens involved in filming, clicking and reporting traffic violations, and promising rewards for such initiatives, Delhi Police is ready to loosen the purse strings. Garima Bhatnagar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said Saturday, “We will start giving the rewards next week.”
The scheme, Traffic Sentinels, has a system of awarding points to people for reporting valid violations. The plan is to reward participants who notch up a certain number of points, as well as have bumper prizes “from time to time through lucky draw”. Till now, however, there had been no follow-through on giving out the rewards, said sources.
According to official statistics, police spent more than Rs 2.18 crore on advertisements to promote the scheme, and the experience is people warmed up to it. Statistics show people reported as many as 1,31,467 instances of suspected traffic violations.
Traffic police analysed the evidence submitted by citizens and found 66,291 instances suitable for prosecution. “Traffic police managed to recover a penalty amount of around Rs 50 lakh till October 13 in these cases,” said a senior police officer. “Of the total cases reported by citizens, offences were not clear in 22,445 instances, vehicle numbers were not available in 31,617 instances and 11,114 were deemed invalid for other reasons,” the officer added. On December, 3, then commissioner of police B S Bassi, had launched a Traffic Sentinel mobile app for people to send photographs and videos of traffic violations.
“If the offence and the vehicle number are clear in the photograph or video, they will be validated… and reward points will be allocated to the sender, who will be intimated through an email. Once a minimum number of points are accrued, the Traffic Sentinel will be entitled for a prize. There will be, in addition, bumper prizes also from time to time through lucky draw. The ‘Traffic Sentinels’ will get rewards like dinner coupons, movie tickets, free talk time when their points would be between 25 and 100. Those who collect more than 200 points would be given car, motorcycle and foreign tour rewards through a bumper draw,” Bassi had said.
Sources said Traffic Sentinel app was the brainchild of then special commissioner of police Dharmendra Kumar. “He and then Special CP (Traffic) Muktesh Chander were coordinating and the plan was to give out rewards every three to four months,” said a source. “After the launch of the app, a leading auto company was ready to provide a car for the bumper draw, but the key officials were transferred and other officials decided to wait for more citizens to qualify for the bumper draw,” the source added.