Traffic violators who manage to escape from the traffic police should brace themselves for a surprise as an inland letter asking them to pay the fine within seven days may land at their homes even if they weren’t caught in the act by the police.
The city traffic police will now scan through the CCTVs installed at various squares of the city to nail traffic offenders. A screen grab of the violation will be sent to the offender along with the address of the traffic division office that he will have to visit to pay the fine.
These measures are part of the e-challan project launched by the city traffic police. The challan will also include a photograph as evidence of the violation. “There are 1,236 CCTV cameras installed at various chowks in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas. The live feed is monitored from the CCTV control room located at the police commissioner’s office. We have deployed the traffic police in day and night shifts to find out traffic violations. Once they find a traffic violation, we will find out the vehicle registration number from the number plate and other specifications of the vehicle. The name of the owner will then be found from a software we are using since last year to search Pune RTO database. After this, the challan will be dispatched to the address of violator through an inland letter,” said Pravin Mundhe, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic).
Till now, traffic policemen used to personally visit homes of people to serve challans, which overburdened them as as the number of traffic offenders went up. Therefore, it was decided to send challans via India Post as only physical address is maintained by the RTO. Once email addresses are accepted by the RTO, challans will be sent on email, police said.
“At present, we aim to send out 200 such challans per day, which will be increased to 500 within a week or two. If the person fails to pay the compounding fine within seven days of receiving the letter, we will file case against him/her in the court. This will act as a deterrent against traffic violations,” said Mundhe.
The inland letters, police said, are expected to reach destinations between 3 to 6 days from date of dispatch. According to the traffic police, data of violations will also be sent to RTO officials who will hold the violators accountable when he approaches them for any official work.
Where’s the proof of delivery, asks activist?
Activists, however, are not impressed by the move. According to them, if the traffic police want to use technology effectively, they should use it not only for catching violations but also for punishing the culprits. The move of sending inland letters will prove of no help, they feel.
“This is just a show they are putting to make us think they are doing something to stop violations. A person may deny he ever received an inland letter because unlike Speed Post or Registered Letters, there’s no proof of delivery. If the traffic police are serious, they should link the bank account of every vehicle with licence or permit and when he violates the rules, the fine amount should be deducted from his bank account. This will put a genuine check on the violators. At the same time, it will also help track down the habitual violators. Some years ago, PMC too had made a similar announcement which disappeared in thin air,” said Jugal Rathi of Sajag Nagrik Manch.