324 motorists receive challans via SMS, maximum for overstepping zebra crossings
Within 24 hours of Mumbai’s CCTV challan system’s launch, 324 motorists have received e-challans on their mobile phones via SMS. Mumbai it the only city in the country where police have started sending challans on mobile phones.
Mumbai traffic police on Tuesday launched the new CCTV challan initiative, which will help in issuing fines to traffic violators without traffic police personnel being present on the site.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Milind Bharambe said, “Within just 24 hours, we have generated 324 challans and the helpline numbers are already ringing with queries.”
Prior to the launch, it was believed that maximum challans would be issued for violations like signal jumping, talking on mobile phone while driving, riding triple seat on a two-wheeler, riding without helmet, speeding, driving without seat belts or overstepping the zebra crossing.
However, off the 324 offenders, maximum number of motorists were fined for overstepping the pedestrian or zebra crossing.
In most countries, not halting before the pedestrian crossing is a serious offence and carries a hefty fine. While the rule exists in India as well, it is seldom followed by motorists.
After receiving the challan via SMS, motorists can click on the payment link and pay the fine using their debit or credit cards.
Before the launch of the e-challan system, traffic police issued an average of 6,000 manual challans everyday.
However, according to activists, this number will significantly increase in the coming months as more and more people who were used to lax enforcement of rules will end up getting fined. But, in a year’s time, the strict enforcement will help discipline motorists to a great extent and the numbers of violations will reduce.
At present, 20 constables monitor the CCTVs from the control room to catch offenders and 5 enter details like registration number, location and date of offence into the system to generate challans.
For spot challans, traffic personnel have been allotted 500 hand-held devices where challans can be printed and offenders can pay fines using debit or credit cards. Those who don’t possess plastic money can go to the concerned traffic chowky and pay the fine.