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On innumerable occasions, the system fails us despite there being strict laws that are supposed to be implemented. Bribery being one of the system’s biggest disruptors is one nasty evil that we either experience or witness on a day-to-day basis while traveling by road.
In our country, traffic rule offenders have two choices- pay a fine to the government depending upon the seriousness of the offense or bribe those traffic policemen that are dishonest to save a few bucks. In a prominent move, that will help reduce corruption in the handling of cash or misappropriation, Mumbai traffic police will stop accepting fine in cash.
The Mumbai Traffic Police will stop accepting fines in cash from January 12, 2016. Payments will only be made by online transactions on a spot or within a fixed deadline through the new e-challan system.
This scheme is set to become fully operational in the city within 6 months and aims at complete transparency in the transactions between the traffic police and the offenders.
The traffic department of Mumbai is yet to officially launch its e-challan system by holding a press-conference on the 12th of January along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, Director General of Police Pravin Dixit and Commissioner of Police Ahmad Javed by formally announcing the scheme and handing over 1,000 e-challan machines to traffic constables.
The proposed arrangement mandates that the payment of fine can only be made through debit or credit cards and for those not carrying any cards an e-challan will be issued and there will be a 15-day window to pay the fines through the National Electronics Funds Transfer (NEFT).
If the payment is not made by the 16th day, the offender will be charged an extra Rs 10 per day and the next time the person is caught their license will be suspended for non-payment. Since the e-challan machines are being rented from private companies, an additional convenience charge of Rs 9.5 shall be levied upon the offender. The traffic department has already tied up with the State Bank of India for smooth handling of online transactions.
The department is also deliberating on the introduction of prepaid cards for those who are not comfortable paying by debit or credit cards.
The respective fines for common offenses have been listed below:
■ Drunk driving: Rs 2,000
■ No license: Rs 300
■ Jumping signals: Rs 100
■ No helmet or seat-belt: Rs 100
■ No documents: Rs 100
■ Wrong parking: Rs 100
■ Tinted glass: Rs 100
■ Triple-seat riding: Rs 100
The system of swiping cards to pay traffic fines is not new to India. It was first introduced in Hyderabad in 2014 and there is no doubt in the efficiency of the system.
Though this move will help in curbing corruption and mishandling of fines by police officers but this won’t help in stopping police officers from taking bribes. The Logical Indian hopes this move help Mumbai police in controlling corruption within but also expect that the state and central govt. take a step in reducing the corruption that happen between police officers and a citizen.
– Meghana Bhaskar