Breathed a sigh of relief when the police didn’t stop you jumping a signal? Drove past traffic cops without your helmet on and thanked your luck that they didn’t stop your vehicle? With Chennai City Traffic Police watching out for traffic violators with a very keen eye, chances are that you’ll soon be receiving a challan for traffic violation with the vehicle registration number and a TV grab of the violation.
While traffic violators in the city had a free run so far, a contactless enforcement system is now in place. A new online system, which is integrated with all Regional Transport Offices (RTOs) using the ‘Vahan’ and ‘Sarathi’ eco-systems, will make sure that a traffic violator will get a challan. Vahan has vehicle registration data, and Sarathi for driving licence data and the two are maintained by the Union Ministry of Road and Surface Transport.
On an average every day, 10,000 traffic violators are being booked in Chennai for violations such as over speeding, drunk driving and riding without helmets. Moreover, these challans can cross borders and also be issued against vehicles belonging to other states as well.
R Sudhakar, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic South, explained to The Hindu, “In the previous system, we had a standalone machine which printed challans. We had no background information on the motorist. Traffic personnel were unaware of challans issued previously in other cities or states against the particular motorist. Now, this software has been developed by National Informatics Centre and customised for Greater Chennai Traffic police.”
The Times of India reports that 90,000 violators were booked on a single day in five junctions in Chennai’s Anna Nagar. The feat was made possible with the help of 64 cameras that were installed with assistance from Hyundai at Anna Nagar Roundtana, Shanthi Colony, Estate Road, 18th Main Road and Anna Nagar police station junction.
This system is soon expected to cover the entire city. The cameras, which include a few with red light violation detection, few embedded with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) software, and others with a speed dome, helped capture violations such as not wearing helmets, jumping stop-line/signals, wrong side driving, over speeding, triple riding, lane jumping, triple no entry violations, etc., are monitored from a control room near the Anna Nagar Roundtana.
Cases for violations can be booked and paid for it through credit/debit cards can be done using the same device. If the driving licence of a particular motorist has been suspended, it will reflect in the database and if there’s a pending payment for violation, renewal of fitness certificate or name transfer will not be permitted by the software system at RTOs, throughout India.