How to Talk with a Traffic Police Officer?
If and when a traffic police officer stops you, be calm, polite and respectful. Do not be rude and try to evade. Instead, slow down your vehicle, park it on the side of the road, and then talk to the officer. Here are some tips that you should follow while conversing with a traffic cop.
Be Calm and Composed: When you are asked to pull over, park your car on the side and be seated in your vehicle. Switch off the engine and roll down the windows to talk with the traffic police officer. Don’t lose your composure, and be calm.
Be Respectful and Polite: Remember that even traffic cops are humans. They are doing their duty to keep you safe on the road. So, be respectful while speaking to them. Answer the questions politely, and they may even leave you with a warning if you have committed a petty offence.
Don’t Get Agitated: Don’t be nervous while speaking to the officer. Explain what happened or went wrong if you have committed a traffic offence. Apologize if required or if you were found guilty, or in case of any misunderstanding.
Follow the Rules: If there was a rule that had to be followed, understand it from their perspective. It will make you realise why the traffic police stopped you in the first place. Explain the situation if you were unaware of the rule or if it was a mistake from your end.
Here are the basic rules to be followed when the traffic police stop your car.
Stop your vehicle on the side of the road.
Be calm and avoid getting angry.
Talk politely and co-operate with the officer.
What are your Rights When Stopped by the Traffic Police?
Now, you know how to handle the situation if and when you are asked to pull over by a traffic police officer. At the same time, you should be well aware of your rights as a citizen when a police officer stops you for an inspection. Below are the rights of a commuter in India.
Ask for Identification: You can always ask the traffic police officer to identify himself/herself by producing their identity proof or an ID card. You can also note down their name or buckle number. If the cop refuses to show the identity proof, you can also refuse to produce your documents. Remember, produce your documents to an officer who is in proper uniform with his/her name and buckle number.
Produce your Driving Licence: As per Section 130 of The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, you only need to produce your Driving Licence (DL) when the police officer asks you for documents. After that, it’s your choice if you want to hand over the rest of the papers.
Collect the Receipt for Confiscation of DL: If you have broken the rules or committed a traffic offence, the traffic police officer can seize your Driving Licence. If the officer decides to seize your DL, make sure that you collect the receipt issued by the Traffic Police Department.
No Towing of Vehicle with Passengers: The traffic police cannot tow your vehicle if the driver or passenger is sitting inside the vehicle.
Challan Book or an e-Challan Machine: A traffic police officer should have a challan book or an e-challan machine to penalise you and issue challans. Without that, the officer cannot impose a fine.
On-spot Fine Payment: You can pay the fine on the spot if there is an officer of the rank Sub-Inspector or above at the scene of the incident.
Cannot Force You: The traffic police cannot force you to get out of the vehicle or forcibly take away your car keys.
Can File a Harassment Complaint: If you were harassed or not appropriately treated by a traffic cop, you could file a harassment complaint at your nearest police station.
Rights of the Traffic Police When They Stop Your Car
Apart from knowing your rights as a commuter, you should also know the rights of a traffic police officer when they stop you. It avoids confusion as you will know the rules by the book. Below are the rights of the traffic police.
Can Stop Your Car: A traffic police officer has the right to stop your car for a routine inspection or any other reasons. He/she can ask you to produce the necessary documents such as the registration certificate, car insurance policy documents, etc.
Confiscation of Documents: The traffic police can seize your documents if you have committed a traffic offence. The traffic cop will issue the receipt for the same. For instance, if you have damaged a third-party’s vehicle, the traffic cop can seize your car’s Registration Certificate or Driving Licence.
Can Seize Your Vehicle: The traffic police can seize your car in case of serious traffic violations such as overspeeding or ignoring the red light signal.
Can Make an Arrest: The traffic police has the right to arrest you if you are found guilty of committing a serious traffic offence. For instance, if you are guilty of driving a vehicle in an intoxicated state, the traffic police have the authority to arrest you on the spot.
What Details Should You Check if You Receive a Traffic Violation Challan?
If you receive a traffic challan or a prosecution slip from the traffic police, remember to check the below details.
Name and address of the driver/owner
Details of the traffic offence or violation
Details of the court where the trial of your case will be held
The date of the trial
Name and signature of the challan issuing traffic police officer
Details of the documents you need to produce during the trial
As a car owner/driver, you can expect the traffic police to ask you to pull over with or without reason. It may be a random inspection or a routine check to ensure that the commuters are following the rules and regulations. There is no need to panic or get agitated when a traffic cop stops you. Don’t be rude or disrespectful to the officer. Be cool and calm and speak politely to know the reason why they have asked you to stop. If required, produce all the documents. More importantly, follow the traffic rules and drive safely on the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about traffic police inspection.
What are the documents that traffic police may ask during a car inspection?
The traffic police may ask you to produce the following documents during a car inspection:
The car Registration Certificate (RC)
Driving Licence (DL)
Car insurance policy document
Pollution Under Control (PUC) certificate
Can a traffic police officer stop my car without any reason?
Yes, the traffic police have the authority to stop your car without any reason. A traffic cop can ask you to pull over for a random inspection.
Can I produce the soft copies of the documents when stopped by the traffic police?
Yes, the documents uploaded on the DigiLocker app are valid as per the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. So, you can carry the soft copies of the documents and produce the same when asked by authorities.
Can a traffic police officer take away my car keys?
No. As per the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1932, a traffic cop cannot take away your car keys by force.