Senior officers have advised the on-duty cops to first use the lighted baton to signal the vehicles to stop and then to focus on their registration, make and colour if they failed to comply. An officer said, “These rules have been notified after realising that policemen routinely get injured trying to stop suspicious vehicles by standing in their way.” Many cases of this kind have been reported, with policemen dragged on the bonnet of the offending vehicles.
Trying to stop a speedy vehicle physically was a rash, if not entirely a foolhardy, act. It endangered the life of the cop in action, the driver behind the wheels as well as innocent people in the vicinity. This step will prevent avoidable accidents and injuries.
Another officer said, “Accidents of this kind have to stop.” Policemen of officer rank have also been instructed to discontinue the practice of asking the on-road personnel to try and stop moving vehicles by physically coming into their path. “All districts and units concerned have been directed to procure light-emanating batons for use at night pickets,” said the officer.
In October last year, a traffic police constable was dragged on the bonnet of a car for some distance after he attempted to stop the vehicle for violating road rules in Delhi Cantonment. In July, Sanket Kaushik, assistant commissioner of police of Delhi Traffic Police died in an accident at Rajokri Flyover while on duty managing the traffic there. In February, a motorist dragged a constable over 2km in Nangloi. The constable, along with other traffic police personnel, was checking papers at Nangloi Chowk when the accused’s vehicle drove in from the other side. The policeman signalled him to stop, but after slowing down, the man speeded up, catching the policeman unawares.
In November 2018, a 48-year-old traffic policeman was killed when a speeding truck hit him and dragged him for about half a kilometre when he flagged it down for a routine check near Rao Tula Ram Marg in southwest Delhi.
Three years ago, lieutenant governor Anil Baijal had held a meeting with the brass of Delhi Police regarding the city’s law and order. Expressing concern at the death of a police constable, who was run over by a truck during checking, the LG had emphasised the need to adopt more scientific ways of keeping an eye on moving traffic to replace these risk-filled methods.