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Indian Police Using Facebook to Catch Scofflaw Drivers 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-your-status dept.
New Delhi police have a new weapon in the battle against bad drivers, Facebook. Two months ago the police created a Facebook page that allowed people to inform on others breaking traffic laws, and upload pictures of the violations. The page has more than 17,000 fans, and 3,000 pictures currently. From the article: "The online rap sheet was impressive. There are photos of people on motorcycles without helmets, cars stopped in crosswalks, drivers on cellphones, drivers in the middle of illegal turns and improperly parked vehicles. Using the pictures, the Delhi Traffic Police have issued 665 tickets, using the license plate numbers shown in the photos to track vehicle owners, said the city’s joint commissioner of traffic, Satyendra Garg."
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Indian Police Using Facebook to Catch Scofflaw Drivers

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  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:07AM (#33110520)
    Just make a copy of a government officials plate put it on your car and runs some red lights while a friend takes pictures to post.
    • by Jeng (926980)

      Photoshop would be easier.

    • Yeah, unless you have the same car model and color as the gov't official this won't work.
      • by Peter Mork (951443) <Peter.Mork@gmail.com> on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:21AM (#33110706) Homepage
        This type of shenanigan is already being done in Montgomery County (Maryland). High school students first find a teacher that owns a vehicle that resembles one they own. They then print out a fake license plate, tape it over their own license plate, and blow through a speed camera at a high velocity. It shouldn't take long for Indians to replicate this game.
        • by jgagnon (1663075)

          Bonus grades for creativity?

        • by Kitkoan (1719118) on Monday August 02, 2010 @02:16PM (#33113302)
          For those curious, here is the article about that. [thetruthaboutcars.com] 2 [boingboing.net]
        • It would work great except for the fact that you don't even need an alibi to contest the ticket- reasonable doubt will more than do the trick. I doubt Maryland courts too stupid to realize that contested tickets from the camera right outside the school are common among school staff & parents and that it's probably one of the kids in the class. Or one of their friends stupid enough to risk framing a teacher. And if a cop sitting outside the school notices you driving with a fake plate you can kiss the

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BangaIorean (1848966)

      You'd need the same make of car, same color, same dents and bruises on the car body (if any), and so on. I doubt if traffic violators would bother to take the trouble.

      Stuff like this is the only way to get indisciplined Indian drivers to fall in line. In Indian cities like New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai around 1000 new vehicles are added on the road EVERYDAY (and that's in each city). Imagine the tremendous pressure on the cops to maintain order. Given the statistics, it's a wonder that traffic even runs n

    • Just make a copy of a government officials plate put it on your car and runs some red lights while a friend takes pictures to post.

      When you think the police anywhere is just a bunch of idiots, that is called "projection".

    • by mrmeval (662166)

      It's marvelous. In Indiana if you're a government employee and you get a ticket for speeding and several other infractions you lose the car. You can lose the car for other reasons such as moral turpitude so please try to catch a gov't vehicle (non-police) at a bar, titty bar, massage parlor or any other place of ill repute.

  • In America (Score:4, Funny)

    by qoncept (599709) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:08AM (#33110530) Homepage

    There are photos of people on motorcycles without helmets, cars stopped in crosswalks, drivers on cellphones, drivers in the middle of illegal turns and improperly parked vehicles.

    I can't even imagine seeing all that!

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      dude I saw all that at the same time on my drive into work today...

      add to that, 2nd motorcyclist on the sidewalk going around traffic, car not stopping for pedestrian (yes that's a law here) and a Semi truck in a no trucks zone.

      This is life in a tiny 150,000-225,000 town in the midwest... In NYC I bet I can get 50 laws visibly violated in a single photograph os an intersection.

    • by GlowinOrb (835527)
      Are you blind?
    • by powerlord (28156)

      There are photos of people on motorcycles without helmets, cars stopped in crosswalks, drivers on cellphones, drivers in the middle of illegal turns and improperly parked vehicles.

      I can't even imagine seeing all that!

      Hmmm, and here I saw all of that on the way to work this morning.

  • by Fishead (658061) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:08AM (#33110532)

    What about pictures of drivers using their cellphones to take pictures of drivers using their cellphones to get first post on Slashdot?

  • Who is to say that people won't photograph someones vehicle that they don't like and photoshop it into a situation that it doesn't belong in? What kinds of safeguards do they have in place to prevent that type of abuse? And would it be possible for someone to beat the accusation by claiming it was a photoshoped photo?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tom (822)

      Because everything is bad if there is the theoretical possibility that it could potentially be abused?

      So, logically, you should shut down your firewall and disable the virus scanner. There's a chance they might not help. And they diminish the performance. Someone could even abuse them.

      Look, this is what the court system is for. Yes, there will probably be a few abuse cases. The vast majority will be found out quickly and easily, very few people have really good photoshop skills.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        The vast majority will be found out quickly and easily, very few people have really good photoshop skills.

        So, what safeguards are they employing to make sure that the vast majority of abuse cases would be found out quickly and easily?

        • by zmollusc (763634)

          Duh! Rich people can afford lawyers who will get photoshopped or suspected photoshopped pictures thrown out of court. Fuck poor people.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        Um no. There is huge difference here. In one case (the firewall) I am junking traffic sent by others, to my machine. I reject it at my machine. I am not rejecting traffic thats not destined for me. I am just deciding what can come through my network connection to my machine. If I want to allow no packets at all, thats all on me.

        This system is another story. This is the system for determining who should be fined by the government. Often that fine goes along with other penalties, who might lose their license.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by nospam007 (722110) *

        "Yes, there will probably be a few abuse cases. The vast majority will be found out quickly and easily, very few people have really good photoshop skills."

        You don't need much to waste a civil servant's time. Just thousand of false positives and images with cars in it.

        • by Tom (822)

          You don't need much to waste a civil servant's time. Just thousand of false positives and images with cars in it.

          They apparently have the time to manually go through all the photos looking for the license plate numbers. How much additional time does it take to sort out the obvious fakes? One second each?

      • by Kitkoan (1719118)

        Because everything is bad if there is the theoretical possibility that it could potentially be abused?

        In this case, yes. And it doesn't always need Photoshop to cause havok. This kind of thing has been done before 1 [boingboing.net] 2 [thetruthaboutcars.com]. The difference here is that the person is the one to make the photo from any angle instead of the single angle that the speed camera takes. You can make a faked violation and then send the photo to the website and they get the fines. And I can easily see people doing to people they don't like (others have done worse). In the end, if something can be potentially abused you have to take that in

    • by delinear (991444)
      This seems like it would be trivially easy to abuse, I can't believe they are actually using this as a basis for sending out tickets to drivers. Fair enough if the whole purpose was a "name and shame" affair but legal action still required evidence from a trusted source (traffic officer, speed camera, etc), but relying on whatever pictures users post to punish other members of the public is asking for trouble.
    • by leuk_he (194174)

      Eeeuh, you can go to the police now and accuse people of the worst crimes you can imagine. The accused will be taken in for questioning. After that YOU will be taken in for questioning.

      This is not much differenf in facebook. You are traceable after all, also a posting made on facebook is not anonymous. And facebook, of all websites, does not care much about your privacy and will turn over your data in a whim to the police.

    • by sirdude (578412)
      From the Delhi Police Facebook page [facebook.com]: "Uploading of Fake/Morphed Photo: When it is found that a member has uploaded fake / morphed photo, DTP will take legal action with the help of Cyber Crime Cell - Delhi Police, Inernet/Telecom Service Provider, Facebook (Now they have a office in India), under IT Act. Members are warned not to attempt any misadventure on this account as we take this act very seriously."
  • Oh god no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ZeroExistenZ (721849) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:16AM (#33110642)
    They opensourced policing!
    • Crowdsourcing (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nushio (951488)

      Is the term you were looking for, I think.

      Crowdsourced police? Sounds similar to those "Neighbors on Watch" signs I see on the streets.

      • by e4g4 (533831)
        My question is whether they untag photos depicting violations by the police department. If they had this in NYC, I'd submit a photo of every cop I see driving while talking on a cell phone (without a hands-free) - I'd be able to submit at least 10 a day.
  • I assume the majority of these uploaded photos are from other drivers? How is it more dangerous to speak on a cell phone while driving than it is to take a picture of someone while driving. Take a picture of that and get two birds with one stone?
  • I has stopped in traffic and got a speeding ticket. I was so upset that I started a log of all the police I caught breaking traffic laws. I started calling 911 and their supervisors whenever I caught one doing over 90 MPH traveling out of county. I had about 4 pages full of incidents in my log book before my court date. I even thought about getting front and rear dash cams in my car (still wish I had those I watched a car slam into the guard rail and roll 3 times in my review mirror the other day on the
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FinchWorld (845331)

      Thats quite lucky, judges take a dim view of people trying to pin something on the police. Remember, the police cannot be seen to do wrong, else no one will respect them, or so judges rule anyway.

      And in anycase, your defence seems to admit you were speeding, but thats ok because other people do, those other people aren't the ones being charged though. If you were in traffic whilst speeding the only real defence I know that has worked was the "Keeping with the flow of traffic" as to avoid wild overtaking by

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And in anycase, your defence seems to admit you were speeding,

        Ummm, no. The guy said:

        "I has stopped in traffic and got a speeding ticket."

        (I presume he means I was stopped in traffic)

        At no point did he say he was exceeding the speed limit. Later on he says:

        "the ticket got thrown out."

        This guy was clearly pissed that he got a ticket, however the facts of the case aren't clear, aside from the fact that he didn't confess in his post.

        • Yeah the "has" was a "was" typo. In that case I wasn't speeding and pulled google maps to show where the officer was and where I was stopped in traffic and how I could not have been speeding since I was stopped in traffic. The officer after writing my ticket pulled back into the stopped traffic and pulled someone else over, it was total BS. But what can you do? Nothing, they are the boys in Blue.

          Over memorial day weekend I got a speeding ticket where I was actually speeding and I just wrote a check a
    • by socz (1057222)
      You were very lucky! When law enforcement officials have "ask us questions" day, I asked why can police officers drive AND talk on cell phones while we, non law enforcement can't? They said:

      Law enforcement can drive and use the cell phone for work related reasons. For example, sometimes it's easier to communicate with someone over their cell phone than through the radio. It's also possible that they're getting information about....

      When asked, "but I saw one in particular laughing it up. That couldn't hav

    • by chinakow (83588) on Monday August 02, 2010 @12:47PM (#33111920)

      Who gives a shit what others where doing? Where you speeding or not? If yes, you are guilty of speeding, if no, then why the hell do you care what other people are doing? A ticket doesn't say you where the only one breaking the law, it says you where caught. Grow a pair and pay the ticket. If you still have that chip on your shoulder, then by all means, call in the police who break the law. You are still entitled to being an ass. Just don't blame others for the you own actions.

      Also, Tu quoque [wikimedia.org]. I linked it so you could get an edumacation. This is why the judge would laugh at your log book as a defense.

      • A bit hard to be speeding while you are “stopped in traffic”.

      • Who gives a shit what others where doing?

        Many do. When the people in charge of upholding the law routinely and blatantly break it themselves it shows that the system is broken and corrupt.

        Where you speeding or not?

        He said he was stopped in traffic. Draw your own conclusions.

        If yes, you are guilty of speeding, if no, then why the hell do you care what other people are doing?

        Because their actions directly affect him in particular and society in general. You'd care if someone raped your sister, he cares whe

        • by chinakow (83588)

          I am way late to this party but a rebuttal is in order.

          >>Who gives a shit what others where doing?

          >Many do. When the people in charge of upholding the law routinely and blatantly break it themselves it shows that the system is broken and corrupt.

          Here I was actually refering to who using his log of others actions as a defense for his own. Because others do wrong things does not entitle one to do wrong things.

          >>Where you speeding or not?

          >He said he was stopped in traffic. Draw your own concl

    • You know that is a good facebook group idea right there. Or more likely a web page that doesn't involve having to use your real name.
    • pretty sure cops go faster than traffic purposely not to cause traffic jams / accidents on the highway.. People often drive much slower/stupider (paying more attention to the cop rather than the road in general) than required when a cop just sits in the lane next to them.
  • The Quit Snitchin' movement takes yet another hit.
  • Slippery Slope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gbrandt (113294) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:27AM (#33110816)

    That sounds like a very slippery slope.

  • Come on, aren't people who photograph other drivers while driving breaking the same law they're supposed to be helping to enforce? And do you really want a bunch of idiots with a license to tweet while driving?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BangaIorean (1848966)
      And why, exactly do you assume that the persons who photograph other drivers should necessarily be drivers? Ever heard of 'pedestrians'? Or maybe, drivers waiting at a red light?
      • And why, exactly do you assume that the persons who photograph other drivers should necessarily be drivers? Ever heard of 'pedestrians'? Or maybe, drivers waiting at a red light?

        Or perhaps even passengers?

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Or this very rare thing called......

        Passengers....

        I know it's a stretch and they are incredibly rare, but I have seen them in the wild....

        I actually saw 2 people in a Hummer H2 yesterday! No really! I did!

      • Um, because a pedestrian's relative velocity does not allow them to whip out a camera and take a picture of a speeder, or even to memorize their license plate?
        • And also, a driver tweeting at a red light is still a driver not paying attention.
          • "And also, a driver tweeting at a red light is still a driver not paying attention."

            But it is NOT illegal (in India at least, it isn't). And well, why talk about just speeding? There are hundreds of other offences that a pedestrian can capture!

  • I can't wait to see pictures/videos of police officers flouting the law, which is what this will surely turn into.
  • [...] the Delhi Traffic Police have issued 665 tickets.

    They're saving the very next ticket for Zuckerberg.

  • The potential for misuse is not as great as would appear at first sight. This is a techie forum so guys tend to think from a techie perspective - hence the 'photoshop fear'. Just think, on an average street in any country, how many guys would know how to photoshop images? Hell, even I, being a 'techie' have never bothered to learn photoshopping till date - I'm just not interested.

    Among that miniscule minority who actually do know how to 'photoshop' images, how many would actually bother to do something like

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, well since you don't know photoshop, naturally that means that very, very few people know how to use it. Just because you don't know photoshop clearly means that there is absolutely no potential for misuse of this system. Please don't ever learn photoshop, because if you do, we will all be in a world of trouble.
  • by Maarx (1794262) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:59AM (#33111280)

    I imagine this is going to stop working so well when they turn off everyone's Blackberries next month.

  • just wait until the add Photoshop to the mix. Then the whole thing dies.
    • by kaptink (699820)

      Exactly, how on earth can this type of evidence collection be considered valid when anyone with a grudge or a twisted sense of humour can simply doctor the license plate in an image to incriminate somebody else? What a joke.

      • by moortak (1273582)
        People lying and fabricating evidence has always been an issue. If they have a good vetting process I can see it being very useful.
  • And the actual page (Score:5, Informative)

    by slack_prad (942084) on Monday August 02, 2010 @12:16PM (#33111518) Journal

    The facebook page [facebook.com] of the Delhi police where pictures are being posted and challans issued.
    All this hullabaloo is due to the Common Wealth Games [wikipedia.org] that are fast approaching. Once that's done, this facebook fiasco will die a slow death.

  • How many tickets will they get if someone submits the same pic several times?

  • i once got a parking ticket out there & i was beggin the guy to not tow the car (as it was not even mine) - he wouldnt even take my bribe of 500 rupees ~10(USD) (which i thought was plenty).

    Well they towed the car literally around the corner and asked for the 150 rupee fine. Thats uhh...3 USD, i pay 10x that to park legally here in the states.

    and ok, before someone berates me for the difference in cost of living out there - the 1$ - 50rupees is about right (a meal for 4 adults can easily cost 200
  • "Sure, we have order--but at what price?"

  • Because nothing can make a person more angry than other drivers, I often daydream about starting a web site like this. You'd need a license plate, and then you could rat on them for crimes against humanity like merging on to the freeway at 30 MPH. Ad revenue would be used to pay for getting contact info for the worst drivers, and sending them a letter.

    (I almost got killed the other day when the car in front of me did not get up to freeway speed, and at the same time the massive truck behind us declined to s

  • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Monday August 02, 2010 @02:06PM (#33113156) Journal

    This makes me think of an old Robin Williams' bit. To paraphrase, the idea was that every driver on the road is issued a gun that will shoot a flag that says "Asshole." When you see someone do something stupid, you fire the gun at the car and they end up with a little flag that says "Asshole" on their car.

    One advantage of this is you'd be able to tell who the idiot drivers are and give them a wide berth. Kind of like a few years ago back in Florida when all the rental-car license plates started with 'Y'--if you saw a car with a 'Y' license plate, there was a good chance they didn't know where they were going and might change lanes at any moment.

    Also, it would make it easier for the police to eventually catch these people. Heck, just make a law that says if you have more than 5 "Asshole" flags on your car, you get a ticket for being an asshole.

    (Obviously this wouldn't really work--it's a comedy bit. But one can dream...)

  • It looks like most of the posts are from a guy named Ladi Sharma...

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