When drivers used to be stopped for violating traffic rules, they would give innumerable excuses, argue with traffic policemen and even escape without paying fine. Now due to e-challans, such arguments are almost absent, and violators are being caught on camera. We spoke with experts to understand how the cameras capture traffic violations and how the e-challan process work.
What is e-challan?
Manish Agarwal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Delhi Police, explains, “E-challan is a contactless challan. There are cameras for red light jumping and cameras for over-speeding installed at multiple locations, and capture images of violations. Another kind of challan that we (Delhi Police) do is app-based. The app is downloaded on the traffic policeman’s phone and when he notices a violation he can click photos and upload it on the app and then the challan is issued. Both these challans are without any contact so obviously the interface between the violator and police is absent and it saves time. The number of challans has also gone up in Delhi because of this. Once a person receives a text on his/her registered number regarding the challan, they can go to the website and pay the fine. They can also contest it in court if they feel that a mistake has been made.”
How cameras issue challans
Kapil Bardeja, CEO, co-founder, Vehant Technologies, a surveillance solutions company, says, “The cameras record traffic violations, and click photos every time a vehicle breaks rules and then it sends the data – vehicle number and type of violation – to the control centre. Along with the photo, these cameras also capture a short video as proof. Date, time and camera number is encrypted in the image itself so even authorities cannot tamper with it. The encrypted image goes from the local server to the central server (police control room). Then the data is sent VAHAN (the national vehicle registry database of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways). Then a message is sent to the phone number which is registered with the vehicle.”
For parking violations, no-parking zones are fed into the system. A time limit is also set up and if a vehicle is in the zone beyond that time, then a violation is registered.
Delaying fine payments is risky
Manish Agarwal, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Delhi Police, says, “We are bringing several provisions for non-payment cases. We are in discussion with insurance companies where if a vehicle has a certain number of pending challans then that amount can be added to the insurance.”
Pankaj Gupta, an advocate who takes up traffic violation cases, says, “We advise people to pay their fines as soon as they receive the notice. If you fail to pay it, then any transaction related to the vehicle is out of question. If it is a cab, then permits will not be renewed. However, licenses are rarely revoked.”...Read more>>