THE DOS AND DON’TS OF TALKING TO THE POLICE
Traffic Police officials are some of the few from the government sector who work their worth in salt, at least the ones who slave under the scorching sun and blinding dust. In general, Nepal Police have been extremely effective at doing their job, once again a rare occurrence with the public services of Nepal. Their lock down on driving/riding under the influence has been praise worthy and the numbers of road accidents have significantly reduced compared to the recent years.
As effective as their job may be, at the end of the day, from our experience, the traffic police are no-nonsense personnels. It takes just a tiny hint of rebellion from you to piss them off and turn what was supposed to be a routine check into something completely ugly. And it’s not something to be complain about either; controlling idiots on wheels 12 hours a day in an atmosphere made of 70% dust and 30% noise isn’t exactly a dream job, but they do it nonetheless. So it is our responsibility to make their job easier. That is why here are a few do’s and don’ts should you get pulled over by a traffic police.
We do want to clarify that these don’ts will not undo the reason why you are being pulled over. We are responsible drivers/writers who do not encourage breaking rules so if you have broken a rule then you are on your own my friend.
DON’T BE THE TRANSPORTER- This is not a movie, and you’re not Jason Statham, you will get caught and you will go to prison and your potential movie career will disappear somewhere in the horizon. So if you do get signaled to pull over, by all means, pull over.
DON’T TRY TALKING YOURSELF OUT OF A SITUATION – There’s always that one guy who tries to smooth talk his way out of the situation, that same guy who decides to talk about the weather when he’s asked to hand over his papers. You may think you are smooth, but to the officials you are just delaying their work and getting them annoyed.
DON’T JUMP INTO DEFENSE MODE - This is the person who immediately goes into full defense mode as soon as they’re pulled over, the ones who instantly start apologizing and begging for consideration before the officials have uttered a single word. Take a moment to relax and see where the situation goes before you start groveling in public.
DON’T BE THE RUDE GUY – When you get pulled over, don’t converse with the police in a rude manner. Keep in mind that their job is stressful as it is and they are unlikely to be in a very good mood. So you being rude to them will only make matters worse for them and especially for you.
DON’T ACT HIGH AND MIGHTY- So a police officer pulls you over, you’ve broken the law but you’re in no mood to give up your driver’s license. So you pull out the “Do you know who I am?” card. God, Is that you? No, you are not. You are like everybody else who broke the law and you do not scare anyone. Produce your papers please.
DON’T BE THE RENEWAL FAILURE- Look at it this way, you’ve broken the law, you’ve already been caught, so why give the police another reason to book you. So always keep in check that your driver’s license, bill book are all renewed in time to avoid any complications.
“AT THE END OF THE DAY THE POLICEMEN ARE HUMANS; IF YOU GENUINELY SHOW THEM RESPECT, THEY WILL RESPECT YOU BACK.”
Now that don’ts are out of the way, here are a few things you should actually do that might help your situation or even save you all the trips to the Bagikhana if you are lucky.
BE RESPECTFUL- The old saying of “give respect take respect” works because at the end of the day the policemen are humans; if you genuinely show them respect, they will respect you back. It’s something you should keep in mind.
BE STRAIGHTFORWARD- Do not beat around the bush when you are asked a question, be straight and answer truthfully. An honest crook is better than a dishonest one, not that we are saying you are a crook. You get the gist right?
SMILE- A smile can actually make the people around you happy, and the last time we checked policemen are people, so give it a shot. Just don’t overdo it.
TALK TO THEM- There’s a fine line between talking to them and smooth talking them. Bearing that in mind you can make good conversations and maybe even relieve their pressure by a tiny bit, ask how they are feeling, appreciate the dust the heat the stress they go through everyday just so you can go home safe to your family, offer a bottle of water, or even a handshake or a wave goodbye.
APOLOGIZE- This is the biggest problem we have. We make the mistakes and we don’t apologize for it. A simple, sincere apology can actually work in your favor.
The next time you drive, try not to break the rules; if you do, try keeping these things in mind.