Apr 17, 2014

Delhi’s most notorious camouflaged traffic light

It is at a place which appears to be a free left turn, and deeply conscientious traffic policemen hang around just after the turning, waiting to catch anyone who misses the ‘blink and you miss it’ traffic light.

I am talking about the traffic lights on the left turn from Mathura Road, at the Pragati Maidan crossing, when you turn towards the Pragati maidan Gate No. 2, National Science Museum and the Ring Road.

Here’s the route marked on a map:

I had the misfortune of being stopped and fined at that spot myself. As always I took the left from the Matka Peer and drove straight through the free left, but then a traffic policeman fearlessly stepped in front of  my car. I parked the car by the side of the road and asked him what happened. He acted very offended and told me that I had jumped a traffic light. I actually asked him where the traffic lights were, and he pointed them out.

It was obvious that I hadn’t seen the red light but the traffic policeman was hell bent on booking me. My choice was to give him a 30% of fine amount bribe or pay the whole fine. I chose to pay the fine, mainly because I felt cheated by the way the traffic lights were camouflaged and how the traffic policemen hovered there like bribe-hungry vultures.

Several more traffic policemen were lounging around, leaning on their parked motorbikes, looking quite smug, secure in the knowledge that most people will miss the traffic lights and fall straight into their waiting 'bribe-greased' arms.

If you want to avoid giving them money or paying a hefty fine, then take a good look at the photographs that follow.

Here is Gate No. 3 of Pragati Maidan that you will pass on your left:

Here is the petrol pump just before the left turn:

The Matka Peer (not visible) is to the left, in front is the foot overbridge at the turning:

Here we come to the left turn:

Could you spot the ‘blink and you miss it’ traffic light:

More shots of the traffic light:

Just beyond the camouflaged traffic lights:

This is where the traffic policemen like to wait for their unsuspecting quarry:

A little down the road is the Science Museum, and further ahead you will hit the Ring Road.

Here's wishing you safe driving and happy traffic lights spotting.

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