Deduct e-challan fines through FASTag: Delhi Transport Commissioner

With a mere 10 percent compliance rate, there is little incentive for citizens to pay their dues, and therefore, fines could be automatically deducted through the vehicle's FASTag.

By Mayank Dhingra calendar 12 Dec 2023 Views icon7020 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Ashish Kundra: “A certain portion of the fine could be deducted from the vehicle-linked FASTag, on the issuance of the e-challan.”

Ashish Kundra: “A certain portion of the fine could be deducted from the vehicle-linked FASTag, on the issuance of the e-challan.”

The national capital, which has set a precedent among States to monitor traffic and automatically issue challans to defaulters by the use of technology, now however faces the challenge of witnessing a low rate of citizen compliance to clear their dues.

Delhi deploys automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) cameras in a large quantum to monitor overspeeding and red-light violation offenses, which see the challans getting verified, and issued electronically to the defaulting vehicle's registered owner.

While the initial rate of compliance was high when such systems were newly introduced around 2017, it has significantly reduced over the years. “Despite there being an online challan system, the willingness to pay the challan is very less and only 10 percent people comply,” Ashish Kundra IAS, Principal Secretary and Commissioner, Transport Department, Delhi, said. 

“While it was high initially, we now see people not complying with the law. There should be some incentive for citizens to quickly pay these fines,” he added, while speaking in a panel discussion on road safety at the unveiling of the report on Road Safety Good Practices in India in New Delhi.

Highlighting that a predominant part of these violations are caused by four-wheelers, or commercial vehicles, which get captured by the ANPR cameras, and since these cars or trucks are typically equipped with toll-deduction FASTag stickers, they could be leveraged to deduct the fines.

“Since most of these larger vehicles are equipped with FASTags, a certain portion of the fine could be deducted from the vehicle-linked FASTag, on the issuance of the e-challan,” suggested Kundra.

He reiterated the State’s suggestion to standardise the bid documents for the cameras being used for traffic monitoring and enforcement. “While Delhi deploys ANPR cameras that detect overspeeding and redlight violations, with the rollout of advanced, AI-enabled cameras, which are far more superior and capable of detecting other violations such as non-wearing of helmets, a standardised bid document for the procurement of such cameras would help all States to improve enforcement of traffic rules,” he said.

The IDTR offers driving tests such as hill-start, reverse-S, angular parking, and parallel parking among others, and aims to become a one-roof solution for training for road safety.

Drive safely, pay lower premiums

To address the challenge of road safety, Kundra also pointed out that having good driver training is key to improve driver quality, and reduce road accidents. “We perhaps must revisit the framework of the process of issuance of licenses. We need to incorporate some sort of psychological tests or mandate driver training programmes from accredited test schools which already exist in the country. So far, there is no such mandate of driver / rider training from such schools,” Kundra said.

He pointed out that improving the quality of drivers will go a long way in reducing road accidents, and the implementation of Automated Driving Test Tracks (ADTTs) in Delhi, is already showing results. “The failure rate of people being unable to clear the physical driving examination is quite high at 40 percent, therefore, stressing the need for a professional driver training course,” he added.

Kundra further suggested that vehicle insurance premiums could be linked with the frequency of challans received, thereby incentivising people to drive safely by virtue of offering lower premiums for better, safer drivers on the road.

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