Following the footsteps of the Delhi Traffic Police, a lot of Indian cities have jumped onto Facebook to help curb traffic menace in their cities along with citizen participation.
In a densely populated country like India with most urban cities burgeoning with heavy traffic every moment, it is quite baffling even to comprehend how it is being managed! Yet, the respective traffic police officers of the city do it day and night.
Two years back in May 2010, the Delhi Traffic Police had started an experiment on Facebook where citizens were invited to participate in traffic management of the city. Delhiites were able to post photos of errant drivers on the Facebook wall of the Delhi Traffic Police. The team manning the Facebook account would then inform an official in patrol, who then visits the spot and confirms the violation. So the sooner a user posts a photo, the faster the nabbing of the culprit.
The format worked. Delhiites became digital informants almost immediately with 22,000 traffic violators being nabbed through the DTP Facebook page in two years. The format had inspired other city traffic police too. Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, and many more have jumped on to Facebook bringing in a much evolved system to manage traffic in their respective cities.
We have here a list of the 10 city traffic police on Facebook, ordered in terms of number of fans but not necessarily in order of performance.
1. Delhi Traffic Police: The pioneer of all the Indian cities, Delhi Traffic Police was founded in May 2010 and has 126,001 fans at last count. Content on the Facebook page is mainly focused around traffic updates and best practices to be followed when on the road. In addition, there are numerous photo uploads by users along with information on the said violation. The page admin is seen responding to rational queries, thus increasing public participation. Page engagement is excellent with a good number of likes, comments and shares for each of the posts.
2. Bangalore Traffic Police: The Bangalore Traffic Police founded in April, 2011 has 40,479 fans till date. Content is similar to the DTP page and focuses around traffic updates in the city with a little conversation thrown in for good measure. Apart from informative traffic updates, the one thing unique to BTP Facebook page is that updates are in English as well as Kannada, catering to two of the most spoken languages in the city. Also, the page admin is seen responding to logical queries and most of the updates by users reporting violations. Engagement is excellent with a good number of likes, shares and comments on each of the posts.
3. Hyderabad Traffic Police: The Hyderabad Traffic Police launched on August, 2011has 30,446 fans till date. Content is around traffic updates in the city and safe driving practices but the updates are not as regular as the DTP and BTP page. As the BTP page, some of the updates are in Telugu but what is noteworthy is the HTP has a well-maintained blog to support the various aspects of traffic in Hyderabad. Users are uploading photos of traffic violations but then not as much as the previous two cities. The page admin does respond whenever needed and engagement is decent with a fair amount of likes, comments and shares.
4. Chennai Traffic Police: The Chennai Traffic Police founded in July 2010, has 30,334 fans till date, which is very close to HTP. Content is a constant flow of traffic updates in the city and fans seem to be grateful with these. Besides, all updates are in English; there is no use of Tamil anywhere, unlike some of the other southern cities. Similar to the previous pages, users are uploading images of traffic violations in the city and the page admin does respond at times. Engagement lacks a conversational tone which reflects in the posts. There are very few comments, likes and shares.
5. Pune Traffic Police: The Pune Traffic Police founded in September 2010, has 25,210 fans till date. The content, mostly in Marathi is about traffic situation in the city and other traffic related information. Fans are seen uploading photos of traffic violations and giving suggestions to traffic problems in the city. The response from page admin is good, however it would be beneficial to the PTP as well as the citizens if the updates are also made in English. Engagement is quite good with a good number of comments, shares and likes.
6. Kolkata Traffic Police: The Kolkata Traffic Police launched in September, 2010 has 15,053 fans till date. Content is focused around traffic updates in the city and is conversational in tone. The updates are only in English and are being well appreciated by fans. Fans are seen uploading images of traffic violators’ as well as asking for traffic-related suggestions. The amount of response from the page admin is commendable and coupled with the gratitude from the fans, the KTP page seems to be doing good. Engagement is good with a decent number of shares, likes and comments.
7. Mumbai Traffic Police: The Mumbai Traffic police launched in August, 2010 has 12,086 fans but has no updates since May 2011. The only updates are from users complaining about the traffic situation in Mumbai. Page is virtually dead except for its fans who are uploading pictures of traffic violations in the city.
8. Chandigarh Traffic Police: The Chandigarh Traffic Police launched in June, 2011 has 11,393 fans till date. Content is a flow of traffic updates in the city and the various awareness programmes run by the organisation. Content is only in English and is being appreciated by fans. There is an active participation from users with regular image uploads of violators. The response by page admin is good and along with good engagement in terms of shares, likes and comments, the CTP is well aware of its objective on Facebook.
9. Gurgaon Traffic Police: The Gurgaon Traffic Police launched in October, 2010 has 7905 fans till date. Content is mainly about the traffic situation in the city, road safety rules and awareness updates. As the CTP page, GTP also has updates in English with a good amount of participation by fans. Users have uploaded images of violators and wrong practices and are seen making traffic-related queries. There is good response from the page admin too. The GTP page shows good engagement in terms of comments, shares and likes.
10. Indore Traffic Police: The Indore Traffic Police launched in March, 2011 has 4108 fans till date. Content is a mixture of traffic updates, wrong road behaviour and general awareness about traffic rules but there are no updates from April. Similar to the Mumbai Traffic Police page, only users are updating the traffic violations in the city while there is no response from the page admin.
While most of the Facebook pages exhibit a clear objective, irrespective of public outcry on the state of affairs, a few of them seem to have died down under pressure. Some of them have displayed complete information along with the phone numbers in the about page, whereas few have the bare minimum filled up. Whatever the situation, the traffic police that is interested in managing traffic in the city along with public participation seems to be doing well on Facebook. I was particularly impressed by Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Kolkata and Hyderabad.
Many more cities like Ahmedabad, Goa, Shillong, Faridabad, Mysore, etc. have jumped onto the bandwagon, following the footsteps of the early movers. Some of them are doing good but most are average and have a long way to go in leveraging Facebook to fulfil their objective.
What do you think about our city traffic police on Facebook? Do they help curb traffic violations?
Slider image courtesy: clearhai.com