Motorists can now pay no-parking fine on spot via e-challan instead of getting their vehicle towed

Motorists can now pay no-parking fine on spot via e-challan instead of getting their vehicle towed
Motorists now have the option of paying the no-parking fine on the spot via e-challan (Representational Image)

In a bid to reduce friction between traffic officials and motorists, Joint Commissioner (Traffic) Amitesh Kumar on Friday issued a new set of guidelines for towing vehicles from city roads.

The new guidelines offer some respite to motorists, who have often complained of unfair treatment and high handedness of traffic officials.

The instructions were a part an internal circular issued by the Join Commissioner yesterday. It was issued to the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police and all senior police inspectors of all the traffic divisions in Mumbai.

“While or after towing the vehicle, if the owner or driver approaches the police and asks them to release the vehicle instead of taking it to the chowki, then the vehicle should be released and the matter should be settled after issuing an e-challan and collecting the fine online,” it reads.

The circular also lays down the following guidelines:

* A towing vehicle cannot be towed from a no-parking zone while it has an occupant.
* An officer of a the rank of assistant inspector or above must be present in every towing vehicle.
* The officer must be equipped with e-challan equipment and walkie-talkies.
* Before towing any vehicle, it’s number must be announced on the megaphone.
* If the vehicle’s owner arrives while the vehicle is in the process of being towed, a fine without the towing charge should be recovered via e-challan.

The changes come in the wake of a recent incident, wherein a vehicle was towed while a woman was sitting inside and breastfeeding her child. While new information vindicated the traffic official, a video of the incident had caused a major outrage.

“In wake of the unfortunate incident, we have issued revised guidelines. In fact, we have brought in more clarity in the existing rules, particularly on when a vehicle can be towed and when it should not be towed as well as collection of fees,” Kumar said.

“We have also made it clear to our staff as well as towing agencies that they should tackle the situation tactfully and politely,” he added.

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