I was in Chandigarh this weekend and my bad luck with this city continued.
My experience was pretty similar to what I had last time I was there. Cops in Chandigarh love me! This was clear as I was caught within 10 minutes of entering the city borders.
Apparently I was caught for having tints on my car’s windows. Agreed. It was recently made illegal (even the previously legal tints are now illegal). So, I am not saying that it was not my fault. But…
What I am amused about is how they manage to catch me within minutes of entering the city when I had been driving around just fine in Delhi and Gurgaon without any hassle…
I can safely say that it was because of selecting policing. I believe Cops in Chandigarh prefer to target outstation cars (based on the number plates of course) for breaking the laws.
How can I be so sure? Because I saw every third car in Chandigarh having tints.
I was also told that the car blinds are illegal as well. My Linea has factory fitted blinds for the rear windshield. They wanted to challan me for having them on.
Funny enough, all the Mercs and BMWs and Audis in the city had similar blinds on their rear windshields. I even noticed a Bentley with pitch dark windows but with a VIP number so that probably explains it.
In any case, the cop I was dealing with removed the tints using his bike keys leaving a bunch of hideous scratches in the process. These are going to remind me of this trip and tell me never to go there ever again!
After that I was told that the fine was Rs. 1000 and I would have to pay it at the courts. I would be handed over my license at the court. How convenient.
This is the second reason, I believe they do selective policing. People traveling into the city for a couple of hours would not have the time to deal with courts to collect their papers (license in this case). So, what was I supposed to do?
Asked him for the alternative option to pay the fine. After a couple of minutes of discussions on why it is not possible, I was eventually let go with well you can guess what. This is similar to my previous experience linked above.
Last time, I was caught for taking a left turn. I had missed the slip road on the turn and apparently they do not allow cars to take the left turn at the traffic light. This time I found that most of the left turns in the city are not free to take as they are also governed by the traffic lights. Very annoying and troubling for someone who is not used to all these special rules. Chandigarh ought to hand out a rule book to people entering the city and force them to read it thoroughly before they can enter to ensure that they know what they are getting into!
This was not the only annoying part of the trip actually.
I was also caught over speeding on the GT Road. Another good example of government sponsored extortion. I was allegedly driving at 104kmph while the allowed limit was 90kmph. When I asked for a proof of my over speeding, I was told that to contest the challan I would have to appear in local courts. The date would be set after a month or so. Until then they would keep my license. NICE!
Ended up paying a cash fine at that spot. At least I got a receipt this time around. There were like eight cops handing this roadblock on the National Highway No. 1. I do not see these many cops managing a traffic jam in a congested city like Gurgaon in the time of crisis. There is no money to be made in traffic jams!
Also, I am sure that challaning people for driving at 100-120kmph made the highway safer for everyone… especially considering every car passing that road blockage drove without any care in the world considering the lack of possibility of finding more cops ahead. Ain’t that cool?
More funniness… These cops were also challaning people for having tinted windows. But they did not notice them on my car. I guess they were not used to people with previously legal films on their cars.
I assume that now that the previously legal tints have been removed from my car, the cities in this country would now be safe from rapes that takes place inside cars. Of course, our government was concerned that 70% visibility was not good enough for the cops to notice any illegal activity being happening in the vehicles.