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Indian Police Using Facebook to Catch Scofflaw Drivers 130

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 Tom ( 822 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:17AM (#33110654) Homepage Journal

    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 BangaIorean ( 1848966 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:24AM (#33110776)

    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 normally on the roads!! I am all for this extremely innovative use of tech.

  • Slippery Slope (Score:3, Insightful)

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

    That sounds like a very slippery slope.

  • by retech ( 1228598 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:28AM (#33110830)
    So India is a communist block country now?

    And in case you have not heard, people of been reporting their neighbors forever in the US.
  • by FinchWorld ( 845331 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:32AM (#33110884) Homepage

    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 other people and some such.

    However, I am not a lawyer.

  • by BangaIorean ( 1848966 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @11:32AM (#33110888)
    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?
  • 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.

  • is how the ideal society works

    it means people are invested in and care about their societies to make sure nobody violates it

    you are thinking of east germany, where the state, not average citizens, maintained a network of neighborhood agents to exert control. this is top down control, not bottom up control []

    remember when rodney king's beating was videotaped in la in the early '90s? this is "little brother": citizens reporting on injustice, whether done by fellow citizens, or even by the state itself, to maintain their society. it's the ideal. no, it's not "mob rule". the state still exists, and mob justice is not tolerated

    perhaps you would prefer the sort of "stop snitching" mentality that goes on in neighborhoods rife with crime. a combination of people not caring about their own communities (and therefore not fighting crime that goes on around them, becoming collaborators in their own misery, out of distrust of the police, deserved or not), and criminals ruling by intimidation and fear to bully witnesses of crimes, results in a hellhole that in my mind, is even worse than east german stasi

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 02, 2010 @12:11PM (#33111434)

    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.

  • by BangaIorean ( 1848966 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @12:13PM (#33111468)

    "I think your easy fix solution to a very difficult problem might not work!"

    It does work. I drive almost 54 kilometers daily in Bangalore, and I have seen the result of the traffic police's punitive drives. One can literally see a difference. Your argument essentially is on the lines of, 'Orientals' are culturally disposed towards rule breaking, and Afghans are culturally disposed towards terrorism. I call BS. Singapore is full of 'orientals' too - in fact, one in three Singaporeans is a first generation Indian. Singapore traffic and discipline is much better than the US. What about Japan? Taiwan? South Korea? In India too, various cities have different levels of traffic indiscipline - how would you explain that?

  • 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 []. I linked it so you could get an edumacation. This is why the judge would laugh at your log book as a defense.

  • by socz ( 1057222 ) on Monday August 02, 2010 @03:06PM (#33114088) Journal
    Now, before anyone thinks of getting upset at me, let me point out that Chinese, Vietnamese, Loation, Pakistani and Indian people have all told me the same thing.

    Ok,so let me put it this way: we have a LOT of speed traps here because we have some pretty cool roads to drive on. Even though we see people pulled over EVERY DAY, that doesn't convince enough of the driving population to actually drive 35 or 40 MPH. Or even slow down in front of the school zone marked area with 2 motorcycle cops (whose primary duties are to give out tickets).

    On another note, I honestly, honestly, don't know of many other places that have as much diversity as we have here in Los Angeles and in New York (for example), and that language is a huge barrier. Remember, in North America, we have a total of 3 "main" languages, English, Spanish & French. Most people don't care to learn more than 1 unfortunately. So when you go to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), you can take your DMV test to obtain your driving license in probably over 20 languages. Now, the main argument people make (I call them racists) as to why it should only be in English, is because it's great they can pass a test, but if they can't understand the signs such as "School Zone" then they shouldn't be driving.

    Now, I'm GUESSING, but most in Signapore are going to be local. As much of those in India are. So driving shouldn't be as much of an issue as they understand the "local driving." But mix in those who are locals, with those who aren't and it gets pretty crazy. I literally pay twice as much in insurance by living in the L.A. area than if I live 30 mins away (which is about 35 miles). Why is this? Well, for those of you local, you'll know about the City of Monterey Park. I don't think anyone who is honest will say the contrary.

    But if what is going on is working, than good for you! I hope it gets as good as it can. But with the #1, #2, and #3 police departments in the state that give the most tickets, with all the cameras that take your pictures in intersections when you run the light or make illegal turns, and even with traffic officers, it's not that much better.

    So you can see where I'm coming from, a street I used to cross now has a stop light and intersection where it just used to be a pedestrian crossing. You would think that's good right? And I agree. But the reason it was put there was because too many people kept running over kids. Yep, I could have been one. But the traffic signal hasn't STOPPED the problem. In other places speed bumps have been introduced, but THAT hasn't stopped their problems too.

    And finally, where you say: "Your argument essentially is on the lines of, 'Orientals' are culturally disposed towards rule breaking," that's incorrect. My argument is that "Orientals," as told to me by themselves (Asians including Pakistanies), "Have a feeling of entitlement. Such as driving and cutting others off or driving as if they are alone on the road so they go extremely slow and create dangerous situations." This isn't without saying that only THEY do this. But like I tell people, sometimes stereo types exist for a reason. And when you call BS, please read my sig.

    Oh and just to touch on the Afghans being terrorists... a lot of people confused my Pakistani friends (family really) as terrorists after 9/11. They were scared and started carrying bats in their cars in case they had to defend themselves. One experience they had with a family member was they were surrounded in their car and had their windows bashed out. Why? Because they "looked the way they did." Another story is they started putting up all kinds of things they *thought* might help them escape similar situations by putting american flags and stickers on their cars. So no, I don't think like everyone else as I grew up knowing many families from that area of the world. A lot of them we helped out because they were decent people and hard workers. And when we've needed help, they did the same.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 02, 2010 @03:38PM (#33114476)

    Singapore is full of 'orientals' too - in fact, one in three Singaporeans is a first generation Indian. Singapore traffic and discipline is much better than the US.

    Well, DUH. "He'll just wait for me" works perfectly fine when the other driver is placidly thinking "I'll just wait for her". And from one car's driver to another, that doesn't actually work half bad, if you weren't in a hurry.

    When it causes problems is when some pedestrian thinks for some reason that they have the same status in this arrangement as all of the cars do. That works really great for the pedestrian until somebody can't stop, or doesn't see them in time, at which point the moron on foot discovers that only the insurance companies care about who is at fault... in an accident between a pedestrian and a car, the pedestrian loses by default.

  • by Agyani ( 864414 ) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @03:39AM (#33120510)
    The only way you explain that is because, in India (I live here) in the end people just say "everything goes" they don't care about anything more then themselves. This selfish attitude as well as bad time management is the cause of all the traffic problem. Take for example, the roads will be free till 8.00am but by 9.00am when mostly everyone should be in office, you will find the road is congested like it was this way forever (at least in Delhi and NCR region) Stop getting worked up because someone calls us (Indians) the way they are, the fact is we have created a mess and we should be humble to accept it instead of talking about being Orientals.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling