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The legalities of road blocksViews: 1364
Sep 05, 2008 11:29 amThe legalities of road blocks#

Anuradha Sarup
Now that the BMW verdict is in and not going into a debate on it's various dynamics.
I'd like to know what is the legality of the police road blocks.

When they spring up suddenly on hidden corners which are totally invisible till you are a few feet away from them.
Or on busy roads at peak hours.

Often unmanned. Just left there for storage it seems. Or an occasion for our worthy men in khaki to grab a chai and catch up on gossip by the road side.

Or they disappear for months and then just when you are enjoying a drive on a road you know the traffic dynamics off suddenly.. hello, here is the pretty yellow trolley block again!

Are there any statistics for their statistics as deterrents to crime?

Are there any statistics on the amount of fuel that is burnt as thousands of vehicles crawl in first gear.

Are there any statistics on ankle ligament traumas the constant clutch pressing leads too?

Are there any guidelines on how these blocks should be put up?

Private Reply to Anuradha Sarup

Sep 05, 2008 6:43 pmre: The legalities of road blocks#

Funny but now that I think about it, police road blocks (or for that matter potholes on the road & such like) never seem to bother me much these days & never 'spring up suddenly on hidden corners which are totally invisible till you are a few feet away from them' cos I always kinda expect them to be there all the time & hence always on guard & alert almost instinctively & automatically...I guess I've become so used to them that 'their' being there that 'they' don't even register with me anymore..I've become a well adjusted citizen...hmmmm...incidentally I never drive drunk particularly in the wee hours of morning cos I don't 'drink'...
police road blocks + drunk driving = deadly combo
which is not to say that road blocks suddenly are okay
(& legal) on our roads cos one doesn't drive drunk.

Private Reply to Ritu

Sep 05, 2008 11:27 pmre: re: The legalities of road blocks#

As for road blocks, living in Delhi is one thing driving in Bombay is another. I am not sure about Indore. Chennai is horrible with narrow roads and too many cars. The I T chaps in Calcutta are mourning over missing a Nano. 25 years back I found good public transport in London. What, with a weekly season ticket, very affordable for use in Non-peak hours, I could make any distance in a third of the time taken for driving. If there were no terrorists and if we have disciplined drivers our cops do not have to ambush us from the roadside. Good public transport for all is the best solution.

Private Reply to charuhasan

Sep 06, 2008 6:31 amre: re: re: The legalities of road blocks#

In Indore roads are under perpetual construction...I can't remember the last time we had full roads to drive on....one half is under construction & we make do with the other half.

For the police road blocks causing ligaments etc thingie i think this remark by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar 'Blame is a powerful weapon but introspection is the real remedy having therapeutic quality' is very apt...I guess more than (or maybe in addition to) police road blocks its the sheer no of (big) cars n SUVs out there on the road that cause the traffic to slow down & crawl. Yeah Charu maybe public transportation /maybe using two wheelers as far as possible just might do the trick.

Private Reply to Ritu

Sep 06, 2008 7:07 amre: re: The legalities of road blocks#

You are right Ritu, but more than no of (big) cars n SUVs out there on the road, it is the quality of driver sitting inside these cars actually who is responsible for the traffic problems.

When people get driving license without any training & test of traffic rules, all this mess has to happen on the roads.

Also these novice, non-confident drivers are responsible to create a pressure cooker situation on the road which always burst in the form of over-speeding by few good drivers who get trapped in between these slow moving vehicles.

Private Reply to Vvek

Sep 06, 2008 7:20 amre: re: re: The legalities of road blocks#

'You are right Ritu, but more than no of (big) cars n SUVs out there on the road, it is the quality of driver sitting inside these cars actually who is responsible for the traffic problems.'

Hmmm Vvek...rash driving is indeed a problem ( & in Indore people have special fondness for overtaking you from the left)& yeah most of my UNDERGRAD students drive SUVs &/or big cars & they they drive so rashly that most of the time I fear for my life if they pass by me on the road (n you know why do they do it?? to flaunts their flashy cars & this is called 'hawabazi in our local slang)...

but the sheer no of SUVs & big cars are a big part of problem....you know in Egypt(again) everyone & that is EVERYONE drives a car...I hardly spotted a two wheeler in my fortnight there & in Cairo it took us almost two to three hours ( I swear I'm not exaggerating ) to travel a couple of kilometers & I fear that would be happening in India soon.

Private Reply to Ritu

Sep 13, 2008 4:16 pmre: re: re: re: The legalities of road blocks#

Marielena Alvarez
It sounds like you have as many problems with roads, construction, sobriety check points and lousy drivers as we do here in the United States.

We have an expression here "Driving while Asian" and does not refer to people from southeast Asia, rather further east, as is China, Korea, etc. They seem to drive without using their side or rearview mirrors and only stare ahead at oncoming traffic, seemingly unaware of traffic beside and behind them.

We were sidswiped by a car driven by a woman from a northern state, while we were on our way home from dinner with friends, the lady never even stopped! Days later my husband was T-boned (hit in the side of the car by the front end of another) by an Asian lady, at slow speeds, while he was leaving the office, fortunately, her insurance company payed for the damage. The timing of this was perfect, as she hit his car at the same place as the sideswiper, who never paid for her crime or repair to our car. Another time we were sideswiped by an older man, who said "I did not see you" a clear admission of guilt. Sometimes the elderly do not have as quick a reaction time as younger drivers, and need to be vision and agility checked on a regular basis (once they reach a certain age) to assure they can see and drive well enough to be on the road. We have a lot of bad drivers, road rage, etc. and we are just as bothered by it as you are. Even good drivers are involved in traffic accidents and we witness much unsafe driving in our area. I let Andy do the driving, I am afraid to even drive in this populous area. My husband is going to court later this month in a case we witnessed, while on our way home. We called in the driver and stopped and talked to the people he hit (likely driving drunk), and sped away before anyone could get his information.

We have a problem with drunk drivers too, especially among the young people and there is also a problem with driving while talking on a cell phone with only one hand on the wheel. It is difficult to do two things at once, you are distracted and should pull over or call them back, instead of taking the call. Some people even text message while driving!

Here we have something known as driver etiquette, some people do not understand it and it is not taught in the driver's education courses. Courtesy on the road is a thing of the past, since few observe it and that needs to change too.

Better driver education and driver reeducation of anyone gets a traffice violation ticket and anyone who learned to drive in a foreign country who wants to drive here is one way to fix it. Prom night, when the young people are drinking (legal drinking age here is 21) and partying, is a deadly time of year. There are also police sobriety check points during holiday and prom season, to keep the drunk ones off the roads, as well as stiffer fines and loss of license for infractions.

In the nation's Capitol, there is a law against using a cell phone that is not hands free. There are seatbelt laws for drivers and passengers and a helmet law for motorcycle drivers and passenders (but not in all states). Posted speed limit signs and speed cameras to catch speeders are helping in some areas. We have problems with fatalities from people crossing the street, especially among our immigrant population that does not read/undertand English, and we are trying to get the word out to people in these communities about how to use the crosswalks and how to safely cross the street.

Here in my area, we have people that use bikes (allowed to take them on our buses and subway systems) and a great public transportation system that cuts down on the amount of cars on the street. Although I had a coworker who was badly hurt (broken collarbone), while trying to avoid being hit by a car, while commuting by bike. There are few bike lanes and many people are not on the lookout for cyclists.

Certain days of the week have lighter traffic, because many employers allow their staff to "work from home" one day a week, which is a big help.

Do you have similar laws in India?

Private Reply to Marielena Alvarez

Sep 24, 2008 5:19 pmre: re: re: re: re: The legalities of road blocks#

Vijay Nair
Apparently, there are no published guidelines for such road pickets, neither can there one be, at least in black-and-white. Otherwise, they wont serve the purpose. I would tend to believe that many offences are averted because of such vigil. Of course, they inconvenience us, but isnt that a small price to pay.

Some data on Delhi Police I could gather from the webworld:


* 74,111 cases registered in all 136 police stations 55,856 cases solved (detection rate: 75%) 53,244 cases under IPC sections

* 83% victims from poor economic strata 92 % arrested were first-timer offenders

* 1,764 dacoity, robberies, and snatching (last year: 1,766)

* 581 rape cases reported (last year: 609) 98% victims knew rapists

* 19 militants arrested by Special Cell (4 killed)

* 6,247 cases registered under Arms Act 6,258 persons arrested under Arms Act

* Police recovered 223 grams of cocaine, 185 kg charas, 95 kg opium, and 99 kg heroin 1,439 persons arrested in narcotics-related cases

* 4 arrested by Crime Branch 4 antique idols stolen from ancient temples

* 756 cases of white collar crimes reported by Economic Offences Wing

* 2,361 police officials promoted in different ranks (74 inspectors made ACP, 179 sub-inspectors made inspector)

* 718 arms licences issued by the Licencing Branch

* 630 cases registered at airport under IPC sections, 71 cases under local and special laws

* 11,55,247 PCR calls received (9,95,691 in 2006) 6,370 found hoax/bogus calls

* 18,056 complaints in Vigilance branch 12,482 were against public, 5,574 against cops 197 police officials punished

* 136 police stations
* 74 police posts
* 239 police pickets
* 23 check posts
* 14 entry points
* 457 motorcycles with wireless
* 411 hand-held sets for traffic zonal officers
* 2,000 beat constables
* 500 PCR vans
* 1 traffic cop on every 17.4 km

Vijay Nair, Partner
KNM & Partners, Law Offices

Private Reply to Vijay Nair

Sep 26, 2008 9:06 amre: re: re: re: re: re: The legalities of road blocks#

Anuradha Sarup
Sorry Vijay
I don't agree with you that the inconvenience offsets the crimes the road blocks deter. Not till there is a quantifiable statistic to support it.

Just as because traffic is at a crawl doesn't make it 100% safe, just because the people putting up these obstructions wear khaki does not make the obstruction an inconvenience to be blindly put up with.

I think these road blocks are traffic hazards .. find some other way to catch people or at the very least ensure that they are put up only in places of maximum visibility and least disruption.

Private Reply to Anuradha Sarup

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