World-over Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) are undergoing changes as their need, use and effectiveness are still finding newer meanings throughout. Though put to optimum use in many cities in the US and Europe, Asian countries are still using them sparingly. ITS is being experimented within India but many a challenge needs to be overcome to make these systems more effective and work efficiently.
e-Challan happens to be one of the comprehensive digital solutions for traffic/transport enforcement that is integrated with Vaahan and Saarathi applications. Most of all, it enhances the visibility of offenders and better traffic management. It works on two systems – issuing challans through personal contact, which is when a policeman catches a violator & issues a challan, and the other is through non-contact, wherein challans are sent through SMS after the violation is caught by CCTV cameras.
Intelligent System for Better Traffic Management
Delhi Police’s Intelligence Traffic Management System, approved by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is largely based on artificial intelligence. It substantially reduces human intervention in the city’s day-to-day traffic management.
Alok Kumar, Joint Commissioner (Traffic), Delhi, said, “We have been working on the ambitious ITMS project. One of the important feature is automatic prosecution system which is enabled by a series of cameras equipped with highresolution number plate detection lenses to determine stop-line violations, lane violations, speeding, travelling without seat belts or use of a mobile phone while driving. Once these violations are detected, e-challan systems set up at the control rooms will send a notice to the violator’s address and alert the violator about the notice on his or her registered mobile numbers.
“The video incident-detection cameras for online traffic management and the proactive variable message signage, and speed control signals will also reduce the incidence of accidents on the major roads. Police can match the information collected by the cameras with the National Crime Database and CCTNS to detect stolen vehicles and intercept suspect vehicles. This will particularly be effective in tracking down cars involved in hit-and-run cases.”
To make the streets of the national capital safer; apart from Delhi Traffic Police, the state transport department has started issuing e-challans to traffic violators instead of manual challans. An integrated e-challan system is expected to bring in more transparency in the prosecution of vehicles violating the Motor Vehicles Act. As soon as an e-challan is issued, the owner of the vehicle will get an SMS. The e-challan is especially intended to catch repeat offenders, who are liable to pay higher fines.
The transport department has procured handheld devices or e-challan tabs, one for each of its enforcement wing teams. These devices are technologically more advanced than the ones being used by the traffic cops at the moment and can act as POS (point-of-sale) machines that would accept fines through credit or debit cards and issue a challan on the spot. There are approximately 200 personnel in the transport department’s enforcement wing.
The e-challan tab will be synced with the central database of the transport department and will immediately identify an offender, who will be issued an on-the-spot fine. The e-challan device will have a portable printer for immediate issuance of e-challans. It will also have an attached portable camera to take a picture of errant drivers and vehicles and send them to the central database. The major benefit of these ‘smart’ e-challan tabs would be in identifying and prosecuting repeat offenders, on whom heavier penalties will be imposed. Also, traffic cops would be able to easily identify antecedents of a vehicle owner by entering the registration number of the car in the device and it would become easy to find out if the vehicle concerned was ever involved in a similar incident in the past.
In its bid to establish the identity of traffic offenders in a more effective way, the Gurugram Traffic Police has started an initiative to link Aadhaar, PAN card and Bank account of the offender to the E-challan system in collaboration with the State Bank of India (SBI). Traffic Police intends to go cashless and connect Aadhaar, PAN card and Bank accounts of the traffic violators to pay fines on the spot.
The City police recently introduced 150 handheld e-challan devices to issue fines on the spot to traffic offenders. The machines can also issue receipts and accept fines by swiping debit or credit cards. Those without debit/ credit cards will be able to pay fines via Aadhaar, PAN card and bank accounts.
“The idea behind linking Aadhaar, PAN and Bank accounts is to allow our personnel to check and verify the identity of any offender on the spot. Secondly, the violation fine will be deducted from the bank accounts of the offenders and the traffic police will go completely cashless,” said Sulochana Gajraj, DCP (Traffic), Gurugram Traffic Police.
Gajraj informed, “We are in talks with the management of SBI. The cashless system will be started soon”. Earlier in 2017, the Gurugram police had launched postal challan system. The initiative was started to give more power to the city residents to help traffic police in catching traffic rules’ violators by sending pictures of violators on the Whatsapp number and by mail issued by traffic police.
“We are getting full support of the city residents who are filing their complaint about traffic violation across the district. They are sending a photograph and short video clip with details such as number, place, date and time of the violation of the Whatsapp number,” the DCP said.