Traffic rules have no sanctity for the very important visitors to the holy city (there are many). It's becoming a menace here.
Police salute the offenders' cars marked with red and blue beacons and ask the regular traffic to move out of the way. "No one is there to question the VIPs. If leaders have no respect for traffic rules, how will the common folks have any," said Tejinder Singh, a student of Guru Nanak Dev University.
The VIPs never collect a traffic ticket, thought they break rules quite often. "India is a free country and its leaders are free to misuse their powers," said Maninder Kaur, a government teacher, adding: "They prove their sincerity to the voters by keeping the roads chaos-free during their visit."
Often, she has noticed ambulances being stopped to clear the way for a VIP motorcade. Kulwant Singh, a non-resident Indian (NRI) from Vancouver, misses the discipline of Canadian leaders. "No VIP visit in Vancouver has ever disturbed normal traffic, as everyone there is equal," he said. "Ambulance and fire tender have the right of way over the VIP vehicles. It should be in practice as well," he added.
Traffic police accept that their hands are tied sometimes. "Sometimes, it's tough to question influential people; or when asked, they flash their IDs and get away. If the defaulters we have caught turn out to be connected to big politicians, we might lose job," said a traffic police official, requesting anonymity.
Not all red and blue beacons atop vehicles were legal, said former traffic manager Jaswant Singh. "Traffic police should pursue these vehicles," he said. Traffic police official Baljeet Singh Randhawa dismissed the allegation letting the VIPs through first. "We block traffic only for the VVIP's such as the Prime Minister, chief minister or deputy CM. The other VIP cars are part of normal traffic," he said.