UPI to pay traffic fines, body cams to curb corruption

Karnataka TRAFFIC Uncategorized

The problem of non-payment of issued traffic violation tickets is a big concern for the traffic department. Of the total challans issued in last six months, less than one percent have been paid so far.

You pay for your food online. You pay for your medicines online. You go online for every big and small activity. Now, if you’re in Karnataka, you don’t have to pay your traffic violation challans in cash, you can go online. Karnataka has become the first state in the country to go paperless in its traffic fine system.

Traffic police officials said that this will not only bring transparency, but might also encourage people to pay their fines. Karnataka Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Traffic and Road Safety, Alok Kumar announced that with the motive of “ensuring transparency and improving compliance to traffic rules,” every police station in Karnataka now has an operational e-challan system.

Non- payment of traffic tickets is still a big problem for the traffic department. Data by traffic police shows that of 53,74,544 notices issued in the last six months in the city, only 39, 638 have been paid. This is less than one percent of the issued notices.

According to officials at the Karnataka Traffic Department, 1,766 devices have been procured and distributed at various police stations across the state. These devices are available in all traffic police stations, they said.

  • Karnataka Traffic Police is promoting the use of e-challans and bodycams to ensure transparency in the fine collection system

The devices that are used to produce e- challans are nothing but data processing hand-held devices also known as personal digital assistants that can store and link data to a server. These  are connected to a mobile printer to provide a receipt of payment. These devices also keep track of previous violations by the vehicle owner.

In  response to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed that the e-challan system is an integrated information technology -based system to manage traffic violations through an android-based mobile application and back-end web application for use by the transport enforcement wing and traffic police.

Traffic Police Department is hopeful that this move will curb corruption and bring more transparency in the collection and management of fines.

Karnataka has become the first state in the country to have e-challan facility in all police stations

Anil Kumar Grampurohit, Inspector at Traffic Management Center, Bangalore said that “Sometimes people have multiple tickets issued on their vehicles. If the fine is collected manually, there are high chances of corruption and bribes. That is why when a record of fines is maintained digitally, it stays with the government and the amount collected as fine has to match it, reducing the chances of corruption.”

However, according to the Traffic Police Bangalore, the city more or less has shifted to online ticketing system in the last one decade to not just promote transparency but make the process convenient for citizens.  Not just e-challans, to promote transparency, Karnataka Traffic Police is also using body cameras while collecting fines.

“Contactless enforcement is the eventual goal of promoting e-challans. Imagine all 620 traffic officials in the city physically stopping cars and fining them. That in itself will become a big traffic problem. And now, with the paperless challans, we don’t have to do it. We just update the fines on the system and the violators can access it easily and pay,” Anil Kumar Grampurohit said.

Citizens agree that online payment of fines or challans is easier and convenient.

Manish, a 30-year- old working professional said, “It is better not being stopped in the middle of the road to get a ticket and pay it, that too in cash. Like in everything else, it is more convenient to be able to pay online through UPI or other online services.”

Bangalore Traffic Police collects fine for various traffic rules violations like not obeying one way rules, causing noise and air pollution, for disqualified individuals using a vehicle, jumping traffic singals, etc. The fines levied can range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 10,000 based on the offence and the frequency of offences.

Experts say that the biggest benefit of e-payment of challans is that the chances of corruption reduce to a great extent. In the system, citizens can make the payment anywhere and at any given time. Transparency is enhanced and revenue loss is minimized.

According to Acko.com, a vehicle technology company, the e-challan system uses CCTV footage to capture the defaulters and obtain the registration number of their vehicles. It allows the traffic police officers to retrieve the contact information of the motorist from their records and issue a traffic challan for violations as per The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. 

E- challan across states

E-challan system is operational in 15 states of the country. As of 2019, Bihar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab and Puducherry, had successfully implemented the e-challan system.