What Are Our Rights on the Road When Pulled Over By Traffic Police?

Thread Starter #1
Nov 22, 2017
I am new to the Indian roads. I find the condition to be very unruly for all, be it a two wheeler or light motor vehicle or heavy duty vehicles. Add to this problem, when we go as correctly as possible, there are the occasional police officers who stop the vehicle and pretend to do their job.

Once, in Coimbatore, near the Ramanathapuram Junction, a traffic police officer pulled me over and went on with some strange rules whose authenticity i cannot verify at that point of time. To quote an example, he said i did not stop where he told me to. In fact, I put the indicator and pulled the car safely to the shoulder where i could park it just 1 meter ahead of the point he was standing. He termed this as an offence based on defiance. [frustration]

Given this unpleasant experience, i want to know the rights we have on the roads as drivers which we can exercise when a cop pulls us over. What papers should we show and is there a time frame to abide by? What do we not need to present? Is there an emergency contact 24/7 to call and seek help before paying the fine if it is on spot? What should be furnished by the traffic police in return for a fine? Can we video tape the incident? What proof can a common citizen have in hand if he is being unfairly treated? Does police officers have the right to pull us over or is it only the traffic police?[confused]

Please share your comments for the awareness of all. Thanks.[:)]
Mar 30, 2011
You will get the info you need, from this link here. Summary is:

  • If you have not violated any traffic law, the traffic police cannot stop you just to ''check your documents.
  • As per law, a traffic constable cannot check your documents, it has to be done by an ASI rank officer or above.
  • Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic) B Dayananda said, "If the constables are stopping vehicles, it should be only to assist the SI. They don't have any business to check the documents. People can refuse to show the documents if the police constables stop the motorists."
  • Commissioner of police Raghavendra Auradkar said, "If the constable is stopping the vehicles and checking documents, it is illegal, people can bring it to the notice of senior police officials. I will call for the meeting with the concerned officers and tell them to ensure the constables do not act over their powers."
This news is dated Jul 9, 2014, and is from Bangalore. If Bangalore Police Commissioner had made these statement, it should be applicable to all RTOs all over India too.Google for the latest rule change. More details are available here, here and here in TAI. Going thro THAT entire thread will help you understand Indian Traffic Scenario better.

Oops, you said, "I am new to the Indian roads" [roll] Go thro' THIS link here to understand "The Unwritten Rules of Driving in India".... Very Funny and informative.

BTW, I have deepest sympathies for Indian Police, and I cooperate with them, for the below reasons:

  1. They are less in strength, when compared to Indian Population numbers.
  2. They work long hours.
  3. "Festival Holidays" are NOT applicable to them.
  4. They KNOW they CANNOT enforce Law on Powerful People. It is TOUGH to wrestle with one arm tied behind.
  5. Many a times they spend from their pockets and collect money from Office later.
  6. Their good works are NOT easily recognized - meaning Lack of Job Satisfaction and Motivation.
Welcome to India and wish you many happy miles on our Roads.
Apr 25, 2016
Can we video tape the incident? What proof can a common citizen have in hand if he is being unfairly treated? Does police officers have the right to pull us over or is it only the traffic police?
I heard from a PC relative that they have powers over traffic violations as well. I would recommend you install a dashcam in your car (both front and rear if budget permits) so that you can defend yourself in such scenarios.

@Vijay, you are so true about job satisfaction levels, they really have to deal with a lot more than what typical movies portray them. It is indeed a demanding job.
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