300% rise in traffic fine payments in last 6 months, cops credit it to increased checks
The traffic police have seen a 300% rise in traffic fine payments in the last six months, according to e-challan data.
Compared to September last year, there has been an increase of around 270% in the revenue collected and over 310% increase in the cases disposed of during February.
Over the past three months, traffic fine payments have risen especially sharply.
The payment of fines in December, January and February is almost double the amount paid in September, October and November.
In the past six months 2,34,479 traffic fines have been issued to traffic violators, amounting to Rs 8,38,36,800. Of this, just Rs1,36,69,400 has been paid so far.
However, the payment percentage has almost tripled in the past three months. Of the penalties imposed per month, only 8.86% of the fines paid in September were cleared, 13% in October and 8.91% in November. However, the number jumped sharply by December to 21.26%, 31.79% in January and 23.98% in February.
According to officials, this can be attributed to increased checks as well as penalty and awareness drives during “traffic month” in November, as well as launch of the online fine payment system through Paytm.
“After the e-challan system was started in April last year, not many violators were aware that they were being penalised for a traffic offence. They are gradually becoming aware about the system and are now coming to pay the fine. This has increased after November when we conducted several drives to inform people how to check for fines online,” Anil Kumar Jha, superintendent of police (traffic), said.
He added that the number of people turning up to pay fines has increased a lot over the past few months. On average, about 500 traffic fines are paid every day in the city.
“There were fewer fines in January but payments continued to increase, which is why the payment percentage is the highest in January. We were really stressed in January with most officials outside the city for other deployments and we had just 30 officials for the entire district on some days. However, it was good that there were no major traffic bottlenecks,” Jha said.
Additionally, about one-third of the total fines paid every day are now being made through Paytm. The online payment system was started on February 19 and has picked up in the past 10 days. Officials said that with increased awareness, more traffic violators are expected to start online payments.
Representatives from Paytm said about 1,500 fines have been using the service so far. Of the total 500 fines paid every day, around 150 are paid through Paytm.
“The response from people has been tremendous in the past 10 days as more people are opting for the service and appreciating the same as it has helped save time and effort. With more awareness, it is poised to grow even more,” Paytm spokesperson said.