There is nothing worse than getting late for that all-important 10 a.m. meeting at office and revving up your bike to get there in time, only to be involved in a traffic violation. At that unsettling time, if you do not have enough money to pay the traffic policeman, you can actually be in trouble.
However, the traffic police in several cities in India have introduced the facility of paying for traffic violations using credit/debit cards. This comes as a huge relief to people who do not carry cash all that often. This facility also falls in line with the government’s push to convert the economy to a cashless one.
Introduction of PoS Machines:
The traffic police in prominent cities in India have introduced Point of Sale (PoS) machines that provide a chance to traffic violators to pay through cards. After the demonetisation exercise, traffic police in several cities had reported that they had encountered multiple instances of violators trying to get away by citing the non-availability of cash as an excuse. Later on, the police had become more strict and took custody of the vehicle till the time the owner was able to arrange for cash. This had led to a lot of difficulty for commuters, particularly the office-goers who were using their vehicles regularly.
In Karnataka, Bengaluru became the first city to roll out an initiative that would allow commuters to pay fines through hand-held PoS devices. The traffic police inspectors in the city would be in possession of these devices on which violators could swipe their cards. Following the implementation of the system in Bengaluru, the rest of Karnataka is expected to follow suit. This will be particularly beneficial for the rural areas.
Commonly used by retailers, PoS devices have received a push from the government as well, post the demonetisation exercise. These devices are also currently being used at several toll plazas.
How it Works:
- Traffic police inspectors will carry the hand-held e-challan devices. When a motorist is caught for a traffic offense, a challan is generated by the machine against the registration number of the vehicle.
- The challan will mention the fine amount and will be sent immediately to the mobile number/email ID of the offender.
- When the motorist receives the challan, he/she can opt to pay through electronic money transfer channels.
- The e-challan machine allows the offender to swipe a card and make the payment on the spot.
Considering the aspect of security, it is understood that these devices will work the same way as those held by retailers. The process will be highly secure and there are no chances of compromise of sensitive data.
- Once the card is swiped on the machine, the cardholder will have to key in the password.
- Two receipts will be generated - one for the cardholder and the other for the police department.
- The transaction will be the same as that in a retail store, a simple card-to-bank transaction. There will be no extra amount charged by the payment gateway for the transaction.
Earlier, traffic violation fines were collected by traffic policemen. These were then moved to the treasury of the government through a long-winded process. The facility of using plastic money has made the entire process more efficient and has led to a reduction in paperwork as well.
Now, there will also be a database available to the traffic authorities for tracking violations. The data collected will help officials track repeat offenses and levy a heavier fine, if needed. The driving license of the violator may also be suspended in extreme cases.
The availability of computerised data will help in validating documents such as motor insurance and driving license. This will be useful in curbing frauds such as forged documentation and ensuring better security.
One of the most significant benefits of using plastic money to pay for traffic offenses is the availability of e-challans. These electronic challans are directly sent to the offender through an SMS or via email, as the database of the police department will have the contact details of the individual. This greatly reduces the use of paper and also promotes greater transparency.
With such a streamlined process for collecting penalties, the overall safety of an individual on the road will be higher.
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