Kochi: The Kerala Police has taken the "troll route" to make people aware of new stringent traffic laws, mainly increased fine for various traffic offences, by using a clip from a popular Malayalam film featuring actor Jagathy Sreekumar.
While usually its posts in Facebook are an instant hit -- the official Facebook page of Kerala Police recently achieved a rare feat by gaining over one million likes, surpassing popularity of New York Police Department (NYPD) on social media, this time around the responses were mostly sharp criticisms.
This even as the police and the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) are a confused lot as to whether to follow the amended Motor Vehicles Act that came into effect from Sunday.
"We're yet to receive any official direction on implementing the amended norms. In the absence of any specific order, we're not doling out fines today even if motorists are caught for traffic-related offences," said a senior MVD official.
"In the absence of any official direction, we've issued notices to motorists asking them to remit fine over the next one week instead of collecting them on the spot. We're expecting the order regarding the new laws at the earliest and can charge offenders accordingly," said Francis Shelbi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Kochi Traffic East.
Meanwhile, ever since it posted a troll intimating public about increased fine for traffic offences, the social media cell of Kerala Police has been receiving negative vibes with FB users mainly questioning about bad roads.
"It's rare our posts receive such backlash though the same was viewed by over 15000 social media users in just eight hours. People are not taking the move in the right spirit. Our sole objective is to reduce increasing mishaps by making motorists adhere to traffic laws through strict action. Every year over 4,000 lives are lost in the roads of the state. We've received directions from higher-ups to post awareness posts in coming days so that the right message reaches people," said Santosh P.S., a member of the Social Media Cell team of the Kerala Police.
"The damaged roads across the state should be repaired first before penalising poor motorists," read a comment from Manjukuttan G.
"We've a request that the huge amount collected by way of increased fine should be used to renovated the deteriorated roads," opioned Vinayachandran Kokkadu, another FB user....