Short of Staff, Bengaluru Police use Mannequins to Curb Traffic Violations

Bengaluru: The understaffed City Traffic Police department has come up with a bizarre initiative to curb traffic violations in Bengaluru. While the police believe the use of mannequins will deter people from breaking traffic rules, the move has also attracted a lot of ridicule on the micro-blogging platform Twitter. 

The police said they would install around 200 life-size mannequins in important traffic junctions across the City. Clad in traffic police’s uniform, the mannequins look very much like a traffic police with reflective jackets, white-shirt, khaki pants, boots and even sunglasses. 

City Traffic Chief Ravikanthe Gowda is confident that the mannequins would curb traffic violations. The motorists, he believes, follow traffic rules such as wearing a seatbelt or a helmet, not breaking red signal only when the cops are around. The police plan to replace the mannequins with real police frequently to ensure high compliance of traffic rules. 

Currently, the police have installed 60 mannequins on busy intersections. The department is also planning to install CCTV cameras in these mannequins so that the traffic violations are recorded. 

Although the number of vehicles in the City are increasing everyday, the department believes the manpower is too short to manage traffic. The official data shows that there are 44,000 intersections in Bengaluru but the department has only about 5,000 police personnel. There are only about 888 signalised and manned intersections in the City.

“The traffic police are always blamed for the chaos on the road. There is however little or no attempt being made to strengthen the department with physical and human resources.  As the expansion of Bengaluru is circular in nature, the traffic gridlock is high. But the department is short of staff,” a senior traffic official said, explaining the reason behind introducing mannequins.