Chennai: “A call centre for each police district has been set up and a three-member team - a sub-inspector and two subordinates - will alert the motorists between 9 am and 7 pm over phone calls and SMSes and instruct them about the ways they can pay the fine through,” said additional commissioner (traffic) Kapil Kumar C Saratkar.
Cashless and contactless traffic enforcement was introduced by the Greater Chennai Traffic Police in 2018 to curb the practice of cops receiving bribes from violators and make the fine collection less cumbersome for the department.
While it has largely served its purpose, there is still a ‘catch’ - traffic cops not being able to hold motorists accountable for multiple challans pending against them. “Earlier, the fine collection would be on the spot and in cash and it would be over once for all. But after the cashless system was introduced, traffic violators collect the challans and drive away. When he or she is caught again for another traffic violation, we can only issue another challan and see them off. There are motorists who have multiple challans pending against them, but we could not do anything, “ said a traffic enforcement inspector.
Another traffic police officer said, “The maximum we can do when we catch a motorist for a traffic violation, we can slap the compounded fine if the person is caught for the same violation again, “ said the officer.
According to the additional commissioner (traffic), only 30 per cent of the traffic violators pay fines, while the remaining 70 per cent of penalty is still due from people concerned. “There are people with more than 50 challans pending against each of them. Also, it could be because they might not be aware of the violations which were caught and fined through ANPR cameras and Traffic Regulation Observed Zone (TROZ) systems. With the number of cases of traffic violations have gone up manifold, the fine collection has drastically come down, “ he said.
“But now if the motorists do not pay up within 7 days even after reminded by the cops, the cases will be pushed to virtual court and summons will be issued for further action,” added the Additional Commissioner.