A traffic constable issues a manual challan at Sarjana Chowk in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
If you like to play dodge on the road, be forewarned.
Come Monday, Ranchi traffic police will be armed with smartphones and Bluetooth printers for on-the-spot prosecution of offenders - and repeat offenders whose licences may be revoked.
Traffic SP Sanjay Ranjan Singh said the system of electronic challan would not only help the department calculate more easily the revenue collected through spot fines, but also allow it to maintain comprehensible data of offenders.
Singh said 40 smartphones with Internet data and as many Bluetooth printers were being configured for issuance of e-challans. "These will be used at 34 intersections, besides four traffic police stations in the city. To fix glitches expected on the first day of field operation, there will be a floating squad of technical experts. They will reach various intersections and the police stations on demand," he said.
The traffic SP is sanguine that the new system would rein in rogue bikers and motorists, besides drivers of buses and heavy vehicles who are often guilty of rash driving.
"The e-challan will help cops catch repeat offenders quickly. If someone is found to have been reckless on the road more than twice, he or she will lose their licence to drive. The thought of licences being revoked is likely to make many respect road safety rules," Singh said.
The system, which is common in the US and Europe, rare in India and the first of its kind in Jharkhand, was conceived by then Ranchi traffic SP Manoj Ratan Chothe in January last year. It was rolled out on a pilot basis at four roundabouts - Rajendra Chowk, Birsa Chowk, Radium Chowk and Argora Chowk - but had to be withdrawn owing to certain infrastructure hurdles. The posers are learnt to have been overcome for Monday's big rollout.
Sources said the Android devices would be integrated with the networking system of Jharkhand police so that the database of offenders can be stored in a central server. Traffic cops will only have to key in the registration number of a rogue vehicle on their smartphones to access past records.
Successful implementation of the system will further help police monitor collection of fines from various traffic posts in the capital on a real-time basis. "If an offender manages to escape, cops will be able to track down his mobile number with the help of vehicle registration number and send an SMS warning," said a department official.
A traffic constable, who underwent e-challan training at the state police headquarters in Dhurwa on May 8, said they would complete "rehearsals" by weekend to avoid troubles during formal launch of the system from Monday.
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