Where traffic cops are armed with a cool head & sweet tongue

An ice-cool head and a sweet tongue is new motto at the Mumbai Police traffic training institute.

Written by Megha Sood | Published: April 8, 2013 2:31 am

‘SAR pe baraf aur mooh mein shakkar’ (An ice-cool head and a sweet tongue) is the new motto at the Mumbai Police traffic training institute,Byculla,where recruits are taught to handle errant motorists with tact and guile rather than force.

Assistant police inspector (Traffic) Sachin Suryavanshi’s alleged high-handedness with MLA Kshitij Thakur over a traffic violation on Bandra-Worli Sea Link snowballed into a major controversy recently. Police and politicians were at loggerheads after Thakur and other MLAs assaulted the police officer at Vidhan Bhawan.

The recruits are trained to stay calm and are advised to show restraint in dealing with motorists violating norms. A study of human behaviour is part of the curriculum at the facility.

Trainees at the institute say they prefer not to carry weapons. “We do not need guns or batons. Drivers are not criminals and with our skill and training,we will be able to manage,” the class of 75 students said in unison.

They were attending a lecture by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Sanjay Naringrekar. Sitting in the front row were seven women constables,taking notes and listening intently. Seated behind them were their male colleagues,including those who have been transferred to the traffic department from local police stations.

The institute,which has trained over 1,641 personnel since it became operational last year,is set to increase its batch strength from 75 to at least 150. Traffic police personnel say that lately they have been getting training requests from other parts of the country,too.

The 75 students include 50 from Mumbai,while the remaining are from other parts of Maharashtra as well as other states.

“During the 10-day course,the recruits are trained in various subjects,including human behaviour,as dealing with drivers is the most vital part of being a traffic cop,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Brijesh Singh.

The course also includes on-road training during which recruits are taught to manage traffic in peak hours.

“Bubble formation,wherein traffic is released in small groups,and VIP movements are the major aspects taught to the recruits,” said Naringrekar.

The students are also taken to the traffic police control room and taught how to monitor footage from CCTV cameras and how to use equipment such as breathalysers and speed guns. They are also taught the importance of accident investigation,causes of accidents and their legal responsibilities.

“We train them in coordination at the site of an accident,fire prevention and control,traffic and crowd control and providing aid to those injured.

“There is also theft prevention,removing damaged vehicles,ascertaining facts,questioning drivers,victims and witnesses,as well as an assessment of road and weather conditions,the condition of a vehicle and driver and pedestrian conditions. They are also trained to pick up clues that are especially useful in hit-and-run investigations. What a close look at the road can reveal is also a major part of their training,” said Naringrekar.

Officials said of the 1,641 constables trained till date,243 were women from state police.

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