To bribe or not to bribe a traffic official?


There was a time when the traffic wardens, were labeled as ‘bribe wardens’, as citizens complained that the wardens often caught them without a cause and they had to bribe their way out.
Traffic police was revamped a few years ago and the traffic environment changed dramatically. Gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International Association, conducted a poll to measure the currently prevailing commuters’ behaviour.
The questioned were based on the level of corruption within the traffic police officials. The main research question was: “Of the cases you know, how was a traffic violation handled?” A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked the following question:
“Have you or anyone you know ever been caught for violating traffic rules while driving a car or a motorcycle?”
About 39 responded in affirmative whereas 60 per cent said that such an incidence never took place with them or with anyone they knew. A mere one per cent gave no response. A detailed analysis of the data showed that comparatively more urbanites (48 per cent) claimed to have experienced or to know someone who had experienced such a situation as compared to their rural counter parts (34 per cent).
Same was the case with males (51per cent) who were more familiar with such incidences than females (25 per cent). In a follow up question, a nationally representative sample of men and women from across the country were asked:
In such a situation was a challan ticket issued, or did the traffic police take bribe or exempted you on an apology?
Forty nine percent said that a challan ticket was issued, 30 per cent stated that the traffic police official took a bribe while 20 per cent mentioned of exemption on apology. One per cent gave no response.
The results on the whole show a betterment in the traffic sector as in the majority of the circumstances the violators were caught by the traffic officials (60 percent) and in a little less than half of the cases (40 percent) the violators were served with a ticket but still 30 per cent still had to bribe the official to go free.