Mumbai Traffic Police collects record 139 crore in fines in 2018, reveals RTI

Mumbai Traffic Police collects record 139 crore in fines in 2018, reveals RTI
While the total number of traffic violations increased, the number of drunk driving cases fell from 20,768 in 2016 to 11,711 in 2018, the RTI response revealed (Representational Image, Courtesy: dailyactive.info)

Mumbai Traffic Police collected a record Rs 139 crore in fines in 2018 for various traffic violations, an Right To Information (RTI) response has revealed.

In comparison, only Rs 8.6 crore was collected in fines in the year 2017.

RTI activist Jeetendra Ghadge, who sought the details, said the increase in the collection is down to the implementation of the e-challan system.

“This technology whereby an officer can simply issue an ‘e-challan’ from his mobile phone has not only reduced corruption on the roads but resulted in a massive collection of fines for the government coffers,” Ghadge told news agency IANS.

While the total number of violations increased, the number of drunk driving cases decreased considerably in the past three years, the RTI revealed.

According to RTI figures, 20,768 cases of drunk driving were registered in 2016, which came down to 18,056 in 2017 and further to 11,711 in 2018.

However, licences were only suspended in 14 percent of the total cases, and penalties were collected from the remaining violators.

Accordingly, from 2015 till July 2019, there were a total of 77,455 cases of drunk driving in Mumbai, but the licences of only 10,702 offenders have been suspended, as per the RTI data.

“The figures clearly reveal that Mumbaikars are quite an indisciplined lot while driving on roads and even hefty fines/penalties don’t act as a deterrent. Since time is more valuable than money for Mumbaikars, brief periods of detention (jail) or community services, as prevalent in some advanced countries, could teach them a lesson,” Ghadge said.

Similarly, the problem of drunk driving must be dealt with more strictly rather than just collecting fines and letting off the offenders without punishment, he said.

The activist added that traffic police must consider suspension of driving licence in every drunk driving case and go after offenders from bars & pubs when they start driving instead of relying on roadblocks.

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