Excuses such as unavailability of change because of the rush at ATMs and banks, or producing scrapped Rs1,000 or Rs500 notes will do little to save traffic offenders from paying fines. This is because the traffic police have decided to stop collecting fines in cash.
“We will go completely cashless by the end of this month. No traffic constable will collect cash (fine) anywhere in the city,” joint commissioner of police (traffic) Milind Bharambe told HT on Thursday.
Offenders will be provided with an array of electronic payment gateways on spot by the on duty constables.
A total of 500 e-challan devices are being rolled out to traffic chowkies across the city at present and the process of collecting cashless fines has already begun.
Explaining the procedure, Bharambe said that traffic constables will carry the hand-held e-challan machines. “When someone is caught for violating a traffic rule, say jumping a signal, a challan would be generated by the machine against the vehicle’s registration number. The challan (mentioning the fine amount) would be texted to the person’s mobile phone immediately.”
After receiving the challan, the motorist will be given the options of electronic money transfer for payment. “One can pay via credit or debit cards or e-wallets such as Paytm or M-Pesa.” The e-challan machines are equipped with the facility to swipe cards and the payment is made on the spot.
If one does not have plastic money options, he can pay through account transfer (NEFT) facility.
The traffic police have also made provisions for worst case scenarios when the traffic offender is not carrying (or owned) a mobile phone. “We will issue them a hard copy of the challan. He can deposit the fine amount at any of the 350 payment counters of his mobile service provider in the city,” Bharambe said, adding that efforts were on to rope in other mobile service providing companies with multiply manual (cash) payment options.
The database generated through e-challans will help the traffic police identify offenders who repeatedly break rules and initiate appropriate action. “After for serious repeated offences such as jumping signals or rash driving, we will write to the RTO for suspension of the motorist’s licence. For minor offences such as wrong parking, the offender will be given six to seven chances before we proceed towards suspension of their licence,” Bharambe said, adding that the traffic police expected an annual increase by 8 lakh challans from the existing 22 lakh after introduction of the e-challan facility.