Traffic police officers may make an unexpected appearance at many doors in the city in the days to come. “Five-time traffic offenders” are likely to see a uniformed officer at their doorsteps to collect the fine. Since the e-challan system was introduced in October 2016, only 25 per cent of traffic violators have paid their fines, as compared to 80 per cent in 2015. The almost 55 per cent dip in the numbers was owing to the traffic police switching to the electronic mode of fine collection. However, taking note of the situation, the traffic police, after a lot of brainstorming, has come up with a slew of measures to achieve its erstwhile fine collection figures.
Going by the collections between May and June, the efforts are seen to be paying off. The collection figures have now risen to 45 per cent.
One of the most effective method has been collecting fines in-person from “five-time violators”. The Mumbai Traffic Police has drawn a list of such violators and is now sending its constables to their homes to collect the fines. After completion of this list, a fresh list of “three-time violators” will be prepared and the same drill of sending cops to their doors will be followed.
Explaining through numbers, a senior official told The Indian Express about the steady progress made by his team. According to the official, between, October 2016 and May 2017, there have been 35,000 cases of speed violation. Of this only 1,500 motorists paid fine through e-challan.
After implementation of the new methods, since May, they have been able to collect fines from 8,500 violators. “E-challans are the need of the hour. It is an effective way of ensuring transparency and eradicating corruption. We are following some new methods to collect fines and we are confident that they will give the desired results,” said Amitesh Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic.
Kumar took over from his predecessor, IPS officer Milind Bharambe, in May this year.
Dwelling on the problems with e-challans, another senior officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the main problem lies with identifying the motorists. “While the e-challans collected by our men on roads, who ask the offender to pay through plastic money, is working well, it’s the fine collected through our CCTV teams that poses a major challenge. We don’t have a database of all motorists and therefore, are unable to send them the messages to pay up,” explained the official.
“Also, our application-based payment service has a few technical issues and we are dealing with those to ensure that the app is compatible in all common mobile phone models and is more user-friendly. These are teething problems which will be fixed soon,” added the official.
To deal with this, the Traffic Police has already written to the General Insurance Corporation, the nodal agency of insurance companies, to help them with database. “While a few private firms have provided their database, we have written to their nodal agency to help us get the data,” the official said.
The Traffic Police is also mulling over the idea of availing the services of courier companies to collect the challans for them. “While this will spare our men going door-to-door to collect fines and the same force could be pressed in traffic policing duties, the problem is who will foot their bills,” the official said.