Colombo police station, paying a ticket
Lately the cops are out in force, parked around corners and waving people down. This is not necessarily bad. They’re not on checkpoint duty and it would be better to enforce some better driving. In many cases, however, that’s not exactly what they’re doing. Take the Green Path checkpoint for example. They’re basically fishing for bribes. My revenue license was expired and I knew it. Whether they’re allowed to pull you over for nothing is one thing, but they do and I was doing something wrong. So I asked them for a ticket. The guy takes my stuff, hems and haws, talks about how I’ll need to go to magistrate’s court (I don’t) and how difficult it is (it isn’t). I just shrug and say that’s OK. He gets confused, hands me my stuff back and asks me for a ‘small favor’. I smile and drive off. It took me another week to get my revenue license, in the course of which I got asked for bribes about three times before finally getting a ticket.
In the past I’ve been scared of cops and the ticket system and I have paid bribes. Once, at the Green Path checkpoint, a cop actually got in the car with me and drove to the bank because I had no cash on me. This was wrong and weird. I regret paying bribes and I just don’t do it anymore. The legal system actually kinda works. You give your license, they give you a ticket. You take the ticket to the cop shed, get a fine. You take the fine to the post office, get a receipt. Take the receipt back to the cop shed, get your license. If you get let all the paperwork gets shifted to court (which sucks) but it still works. The fines aren’t that high and I assume the money is going into the government directly, which I’m OK with. It’s better than a bribe.