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Traffic Police - How the Division could help the public

City Traffic Police

City Traffic Police is responsible for traffic policing in the Colombo city. The main task of the City Traffic Police is enforcement whist accidents are being investigated by the traffic branches of respective station; Colombo Traffic Division is divided into three Districts i.e. Colombo South, Colombo Central and Colombo North. They are being supervised by three Assistant Superintendents of Police whilst there is another Assistant Superintendent of Police for Emergency. There is a Senior Superintendent of Police in charge of City Traffic Division.

In addition to enforcement the City Traffic has an engineering unit which closely liaises with Colombo Municipal Council.

W.P. North & South Division

In addition there are two Traffic Division in WP/North and South for traffic enforcement and for road safety.

The above Functions are based on the Four Main Aspects i.e.

  1. Education
  2. Enforcement
  3. Engineering/Environment
  4. Statistics

Stages of Development

  1. The Division was first set up to educate the public and school children on road safety, monitor duties of traffic branch and to collect data on accidents.
  2. Two traffic ranges, one in Western Province North and another in Western Province South have been commenced.
  3. Highway patrols have been introduced in all Police Divisions to clear traffic congestion and to minimize traffic accidents.
  4. Road Safety Committee have been already commenced in all Police Divisions.
  5. The committees comprise of Government authorities and representatives from the Private Sector, Corporations, Boards, Public Transport, Education Dept. etc.
  6. The Road Safety Committee convenes monthly to discuss road engineering, traffic education and enforcement.
  7. Their role is to help to reduce traffic congestion and road accidents.
  8. Distributing traffic equipments to local Police Stations.  Special pilot duties to escort foreign delegations and VIPs.
  9. Distributing traffic circulars to all Police Stations.
  10. Advising / providing consultancy services on traffic related matters.
  11. Coordinating and directing investigations on major fatal accidents island wide.
  12. Visiting Traffic and Magisterial Courts to discus traffic related matters
  13. Conducting Traffic Management Courses for Senior and Junior officers.
  14. Organizing sporting events at national level.
  15. Senior Traffic Officers participate in respective Examination Boards for the selection of driver candidates and issue of Heavy Vehicle Driving Licences.
  16. Many traffic surveillance units have been set up to enforce traffic laws at highways.
  17. A new Traffic Data Computerized Unit is now functioning to analyze traffic accidents.
  18. Design Traffic Safety Programme to Infants, Children, Junior Schools/High Schools Students, Adults and Elderly.

01. Education

Steps Taken by Traffic Headquarters to educate public

  • The Traffic Demonstrations Unit conducts demonstrations to educate school children, adults, drivers and all road users in delivering lectures on traffic.
  • Training traffic wardens to control traffic.
  • Traffic Headquarters provides educational stalls on road safety and prevention of accidents.

Methods adopted by Police Traffic Units to educate the public

  • Public lectures to drivers and all road users.
  • Public displays
  • School programs of lectures on traffic signs and safety measures.
  • Poster campaigns
  • TV/Radio programs

02. Enforcement:

Traffic Law Enforcement to prevent road rules and violations to prevent road accidents such as special detection, surveillance teams, motorcycle patrols and night operations units are deployed to conduct operations to detect the following offenders.

  • Excessive speeding
  • Driving under the influence of liquor
  • Dangerous driving, reckless driving, Improper overtaking, driving without   licence/Insurance and other documents etc.,

Enforcement is done in several ways i.e.

  • Groups  of Motor Cycle  Patrols
  • Traffic Police men in groups
  • Traffic patrols in unmarked places
  • Civil bus operations
  • Placing R/T cars
  • Placing R/T cars

Traffic Police officers are deployed at junctions to do point duties to control traffic congestion specially during peak hours.

3. Engineering / Environment

Aspects of Engineering considered by Traffic Police

Obtaining assistance from Registrar of Motor Vehicles to condemn unsuitable vehicles for road use.
Requesting the authorities such as Road Development Authority, Municipal Councils, Town Councils etc. to exhibit road signs and warning signs ahead of bends on roads, speed limitation signs, pedestrian crossing etc.

Request authorities to construct roundabouts, traffic signal lights etc., at the appropriate locations.
Inform authorities to repair damaged roads, culverts etc.

Suggesting authorities to plan alternative highways major cities in order to get to routes to major highways, airports etc., construction of overhead bridges over railway crossings, to prevent heavy traffic congestion causing delays on highways.

Get authorities to light-up roads in the night and installation of traffic signal lights at the appropriate locations.

 4. Statistics.

The Traffic Police Headquarters has a Statistic Branch which maintains accident statistics for the entire island.
The enforcement figure from the year 1999 to 2005 appears below. This clearly shows that action being taken to discipline the drivers.

Detections taken - Island wide.

Year Detections
 1999  883943
 2000  974115
 2001  1038829
 2002  1257070
 2003  1698208
 2004  1749995
 2005  1698208
 2006  1546457
 2007  1803208