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I know the law putha..

August 19, 2009

That’s what the Traffic Police Headquarters seem to be saying to an email being circulated, that I too posted previously on the blog. So here’s the verdict straight from the horses mouth. (Not that I’m insulting the horses here) 🙂

Notice how some explanations cite the Motor Traffic Act and some are really vague and brushed off.

Police Service: What one should know

The following is a rejoinder from the Traffic Police Headquarters to an erroneous e-mail circulating via the Internet. The response of the Traffic Police HQ is in bold letters.

1. A single Cop, CANNOT stop you on the road! (it’s prohibited and you are not suppose to Stop either!)

Incorrect. The Motor Traffic Act of 1951 and amendments to the Act thereafter, do not specify the number of policemen required to order a motorist to stop. Any police personnel is empowered to stop any vehicle and it is not restricted to offences under the Motor Traffic Act. Vehicles can also be stopped by police for any investigational purpose.

2. A single cop CANNOT seize your driving licence!

Incorrect. Under section 162 of the Motor Traffic Act (MTA), a driving licence could be taken charge of by a policeman in uniform for violating offences under the MTA as well as certain offences prescribed in the Penal Code.

3. Only a ‘traffic control’ cop has the authority to request anything MORE than your NIC when you are behind wheels.


A policeman directing traffic File photo

Incorrect. Any policeman in uniform could examine the driving licence, revenue licence, insurance certificate and, or, any other document pertaining to the operation of the vehicle.

4. A single traffic cop NEVER can press charges against you.

Incorrect. He must have a witness if does so.

5. That’s why you always find ‘two’ cops together. Incorrect, Deployment of policemen is decided by respective officers in charge depending on their requirement and the availability of resources.

6. Police is a peace controlling force. NOT AN ARMED FORCE. They are prohibited by LAW to carry anything more than a BATON! (but due to the prevailing war, they are issued guns by a Supreme Court ruling, till the war ends)

Incorrect. Policemen are empowered by law to carry weapons to protect persons and property and to maintain law and order.

7. So, if a Cop pulls a gun on you, YOU CAN sue him

Police are deployed to uphold the law.

8.If a COP claims that you are drunk, you have the FULL right to ask for a ‘balloon test’, if they DO NOT HAVE it in their possession on the time of your request, you can GO.

Incorrect. A breathalyzer test is not mandatory. In the event of the non-availability of a breathalyzer test, police may produce a suspect driver before the nearest government medical officer for an examination. Under MTA 155 (1) (e), any person who refuses to submit himself or herself to such an examination shall be presumed to have been driving under the influence of alcohol or prohibited drugs.

9. Only Traffic Cops have the RIGHT to stop any moving vehicle. (that’s why you find at least 1 normal cop in every checkpoint even though they are manned by Army)

Incorrect. See answer to Number 1.

10. COPS, CANNOT ENTER YOUR HOME OR WORK PREMISES without a court Order. You have the FULLEST right ASK for it, if they try to enter and also DENY their entrance if you ‘feel’ like it.

Incorrect. Where police have reasonable suspicion, they may search premises in the course of their investigations.

11. A traffic cop CANNOT seize your driving licence UNTIL he fully states the crime you have committed and the relating penal code violation. If he is unsuccessful in stating them, you can go free.

Incorrect. However, policeman will always explain the charge to the offending motorist before his or her licence is taken charge of and a temporary driving permit is issued. The temporary driving permit too will mention the offence or violation for which the motorists had been booked.

12. If a traffic cop seizes your licence by force and ask you to come to the police station to collect it. DO NOT GO! Lodge a complain directly to Police Commission or the ‘Provincial IGP’, YOU can get the cop SACKED for his misconduct and unruly behaviour.

Motorists are required by law to surrender their licence when requested by a policeman in uniform. However, the motorists have the right to complain of any alleged misconduct by a policeman to the National Police Commission, the Inspector General of Police or the nearest police station. There is no ‘Provincial IGP’ as stated in number 12 of this article.

13. (for girls), If a COP asks for your Identifications and (if you think he’s doing it on purpose to harass you) you CAN deny his request. He cannot arrest you! you have the RIGHT to request for a Female Police officer.

See answer below.

14. (for girls) If you are asked to be Body checked, it’s your right to get it done by a female cop.

If they don’t have one in present, DENY their action.

No female will be searched by a policeman. Females may request to be searched by a policewoman. Any motorist, male or female, is required by law to produce documents to the police officer requesting them.

Source : http://www.dailynews.lk/2009/08/18/fea02.asp

Atleast, we gather that a Policeman still needs a witness be it another cop or civilian to book a person for a Traffic Offence. I think. 🙂

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2009 5:15 pm

    zzz

  2. August 22, 2009 11:43 am

    Nearly all the responses are just proclamations by the Traffic Police Headquarters. There seems to be no reference to any legislation or law, meaning that they create the law according to their own whims and fancies!

  3. September 2, 2009 12:08 pm

    even if what the initial email said is true, aren’t all those liberties suspended under emergency regulations anyway?

  4. September 3, 2009 1:25 pm

    Well if you look at it that way.. the emergency regulations also give the right for a cop to put a baton up yours.. just because he didn’t like the way you look or for insulting his favourite hooker. 🙂

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