Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Road to Chennai...

100s of traffic police , 1000s of citizens. It's actually very simple maths.

How to cover (read it as harass) the entire population? 'was' the question. They used simple territory wise distribution.
No no! there's no human rights violation or any other problem in Chennai. it's one of the most peaceful cities in the country. It's just day time burglary... that's all.! more like mugging. only difference is the muggers don't run after they mug you. you will run from them!!!

It's the same everywhere. every city in the country has these wonderful policemen who will let you go, even if you are caught driving drunk, without DL/registration/insurance/tax documents/helmet (special section on this item follows), provided you pay for their next meal (literally)!
But Chennai is where they undergo their training. They're the 'masters of the game'.

This is the image of a typical traffic policeman. Now carefully notice the area below his chest and above his waist! It's called a POT BELLY or sometimes POLICE BELLY (naming courtesy - frustrated youth of Chennai). For every 1 cm cube of the belly which is grown/developed with the help of the salary they receive every month from the government, there are 9 cm cubes which are developed from the bribe money. 1 : 9...

They have
  • No Mercy
  • No dignity
  • No self respect
  • No respect for others
  • No values
  • No courtesy
Seasons come and go, but they don't change. For the people who do not live in Chennai or who do not drive, lemme paint you a picture. Say you are driving/riding on the road (whether you are in a hurry or relaxed, be it any situation), a 'trafifc police party' stops you - Normally one cop literally come in front of your vehicle, risking his life and your life, so that you will stop your vehicle - He asks you to step out of your vehicle - You do - Then you are routed to the sergeant (the big daddy - wears a white colored hat). He's standing with his bike, with one leg on the foot rest of the bike, with a book and a pen, wearing aviator shades (differentiating factor). he's a busy man (mean very less patience - perceived) - He asks for your documents (DL, Registration etc) - You produce all valid documents, means you have passed level 1 (if you fail level 1 then game over (there's no escape) - Then he asks why you're not wearing helmet etc (if you don't have those reasons to worry about, then level 2 crossed) - then he asks why you were traveling at 60 kmph when the speed limit is 59 kmph (this is a variable factor - whatever speed you travel at, the required speed limit will be '-1' kmph) - that means there's no escape - Now having been done with the technical discussion, the commercial discussion begins - He says, your violation legally costs 1500 + 1000 rs (say) - only 5% of the drivers are foolish enough to buy this and end up paying the money - Smart drivers negotiate, they say "sir, I didn't intend to break the rule, was in a hurry, please forgive, I don't have enough money, I have a train to catch/an exam to write/an operation to perform etc - So the considerate policeman reduces the fine - he says "OK I understand, don't repeat do this, just pay 500 rs and we'll call it square" - some people give up at this stage, others try hard - they show him a really sad face, silence for a short while - then the cop starts to lose patience (his opportunity cost of spending more time with this one guys starts to bother him) - he asks "how much have you got?" - 100 bucks - the deal is struck!!!

The strategy is, "Hit them where it pains", and "capitalize on one's fear" !!!

Just like a typical business scenario, both of them think that they are smart (win-win). the passenger, because he's paying 1/10th of the initial offer by the 'law' (law abiding citizen).

There are only two kinds of cops, The ones who are smart enough to skim and the ones who are foolish enough to settle/compromise.

I really pity the commercial vehicle drivers. They have to stop at every single signal to pay their 'fine'...
But what really surprises me is, lorry drivers pay much lesser (say 5-10 bucks) compared to the bikers (minimum 50 Rs)... :( - why not demand more from lorry drivers? ---B2B vs B2C--- (lorries are owned by firms/organizations and rich individuals)

Popular fishing spots:

  • Near Thiruvanmiyur railway station - under the flyover
  • Radhakrishnan Saalai (right opposite to Chola Sheraton Hotel and in front of Mcrennett bakery)
  • ECR (in front of the small Marry Brown outlet near pebble beach)
  • Foreshore estate (the signal near HUL building)
  • Teynampet signal (opp sun TV office)
  • Nandhanam Signal
  • Concorde motors (near Alexander square)
  • Amanjikarai signal
  • In front Spencer plaza (on both sides of the road)
the above list is just the tip of the huge iceberg - never ending list. Advice to fellow citizens - stay away from these spots. make them run for their money (literally) - don't fall into the trap!

One more humble request to the Chennai citizens - Please wear helmets. Not only saying this out of care for your safety, but its the most 'visible' reason they will catch you for...

A few years back, the Hyundai company (one of the biggest manufacturing companies in Chennai), decided to associate with the CCTP. Now when we think of Accent we can only think about the traffic police and their 'charm'. No one buys Accent these days! However the CCTP got a cool image like the NYPD or the LAPD!!!

The Future::
No matter how famous or notorious the CCTP is among the public, they have created a brand for themselves. They command respect (more than many departments). maybe in the year 2040 when Lamborghini puts up a plant in Chennai, they'll supply vehicles to CCTP and god know how things will be by then. But one thing is sure... the POT BELLY will not change!!!

Other side of the coin: No one is perfect. The drivers on the road i meant. they wanna get out of any situation as easily as possible. 75% of the times they propose the 'transaction'. these guys (normal citizens) are to be blamed. It's been an age old practice for us to compromise on certain things. take the short road.

You guys out there, do the following things: (not gonna say anything new - just the actual rules)
  • carry all valid documents at all times
  • do not drink and drive
  • do not violate rules on the road
  • carry enough cash to pay the actual fine, for worst case scenario (trust me, this is the best solution)
20 years from now, there's gonna be a different system altogether. there wont be any human representation of the law on roads. Advancements in technology will make everything automated. till then we have to deal with things wisely!