Spot fine- Sri Lankan way
Posted on February 16th, 2012

Letter to the Editor by Dr. Mrs. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwala

I happened to travel in other’s vehicles on two occasions , once to the airport and the other to Trincomalee. Both times the driver happened to speed and were copped. Both times the reporting story of the drivers were almost identical.  It goes something like this between the cop and the driver.

 “You were speeding”

 “Yes..Mahathaya, you know I was in a hurry; Did into notice I was speeding;”

“ithin, you will have to pay the fine or come to the courts” 

” Aiyo Mahathaya, do not write to the courts. It is too far from  where I live;”

 ” OK, Ok, let me put a spot fine for you.” 

” How much? ”

” Still it is a hassle for you no, to come to this police station, you can  pay half of it and then you don’t have to come here;”

 ” That will be great, ….” Looks back at passengers in his  vehicle, who are getting impatient and wondering what is happening’

 “ok now keep  Rs.1000 under  your driving license or fold in a paper and give me or just leave it on the tree trunk. By the way who is in the car?”

” A lady doctor and her husband” 

” Don’t tell them what happened here, ok?”

Of course the driver promises not to tell but comes and repeats verbatim what happened. All the time  a senior cop is around who pretends  not to notice what is happening.

How common this is very apparent when you start repeating what happened at a party  for almost everyone has had a similar experience or have heard one. There may be exceptions but this seems to be commoner than the other way around. It will be interesting to find out  the bank balances of the traffic cops who patrol the long distances or the airport drive.

 So this is the type of law officers we have. Once I spoke to an officer about this, who said what to do the policemen are paid so low that without such tactics they cannot live comfortably.

 Is there anything anyone is going to do about it? Let the traffic cops check  the traffic and let another flying squad check  the traffic cops!

3 Responses to “Spot fine- Sri Lankan way”

  1. Nihal Fernando Says:

    Best thing is to break no rules. Then, you do not have to go to courts or bribe the police. Just because you are in a hurry you can’t break the speed limit.

    “Is there anything anyone is going to do about it? Let the traffic cops check the traffic and let another flying squad check the traffic cops!”

    Don’t you think it sounds very funny.

    After all, can you name any country where traffic cops don’t tend to take bribes? This is only a little bump on the road.

  2. callistus Says:

    If you are a law abiding citizen, you should not allow your driver to speed, in the first place. And, because people are bribing,some policemen accept them. If you do not bribe, there is no accepting. Simple as that. One of my friends always gets away by offering bribes, then he complains bitterly about corruption and bribing. One fine day when he was stopped, his offering was not accepted. My friend said,’yes I know I shouldn’t have done it’, and apologised to the police officer. Then my friend said ‘meka thiyaganda ralahami, podi drink ekkak daganda havasata gedara giyama’ (keep this for a drink when you go home). Policeman said, ‘Sir mata drink ekkak danda mata padiyak hambawenawane, enisa meka sirma thiyaganda (Sir I get a salary for buying my drink, please keep your money). Habai, mahatthaya warada peligattu eka mata ethi, enisa mama ticket ekak dennena( Sir,because you admitted the offense I will not give a fine). My friend was absolutely ashamed of himself. These are called ‘unsatisfactorinesses in life’ Mareena. We missed your moans for a few weeks, were you visiting abroad. Let us hear some jokes, now that you are back.

  3. Wickrama Says:

    ““Is there anything anyone is going to do about it? Let the traffic cops check the traffic and let another flying squad check the traffic cops!”

    Two things can be done.
    1. To increase the salaries of the traffic cops AND the flying squad officers AND their bosses/supervisors……
    2. Not to break the speeding limits AND other traffic regulations.

    1. Is an extremely difficult task for the govt, because it could snowball into demands of salary increases by lots of others.
    2. An easy and correct task for any law abiding citizen.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2019 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress