The Delhi Traffic Police has started using social media to enable people to reach out to them with complaints. Important information and real-time messages and instructions on traffic conditions are also being disseminated by the police.
The Delhi Traffic Police has over 9.25 lakh followers on Twitter, and around 2.5 lakh followers on Facebook. Citizens can report on social media about any traffic offence on the road, waterlogging, breakdown or traffic snarls. The Delhi Traffic Police’s 40-member social media team is quick to take note of the problem. The problem is rectified “through proper channels”.Ajay Kashyap, Special Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Delhi, told The Sunday Guardian, “Delhi has around 33,000 km of road with one crore registered cars. With limited space and manpower, we have tried to empower every road user through the space of social media and email. This way, they also become our eyes and ears in helping to secure our roads.”
The social media team, headed by an inspector of the Delhi Traffic Police, manages social media accounts on a 24X7 basis from the Traffic Police’s Todapur facility in Delhi. The Twitter handle, @dtptraffic, receives around 15,000 complaints daily, while the Facebook page receives around 10,000 complaints. Complaints received via social media are transferred to the traffic personnel on the ground on a priority basis. Understanding the importance of social media, Ajay Kashyap has initiated an internship programme under the Delhi Traffic Police. As part of the programme, 12 girl students have been selected from the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women to develop a tool to understand social media analytics.
“The internship programme was started on 5 June for a period of eight weeks and these talented students have been developing important analytical tools for us,” Ajay Kashyap said. The Delhi Traffic Police also re-launched the “Traffic Sentinel” application for smartphones, through which any citizen can report a traffic violation just by capturing a photograph or a video of the defaulting vehicle and send it to the traffic police. For each genuine violation report, the complainant will also be rewarded through reward points in their apps.