Hi Friends,

Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.

There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"

With regards,
Hemen Parekh
27 June 2013

Friday, 16 June 2017

Can Technology Out-Smart the Traffic Offenders ?

Read the following report which appeared in Hindustan Times ( 15 June ) :

Mumbai traffic police’s E-challan scheme faces road block, only 50k of 8 lakh motorists pay fine

The Mumbai traffic police’s ambitious SMS challan scheme seems to have hit a major road block with just 50,000 out of the 8 lakh motorists having paid the fine since January this year.

The glitch has now forced the police to look for temporary measures-- like sending paper challans to the offenders through courier or physically trace and summon them to chowkies to pay up-- before alternative arrangements are made.

“We are exploring several alternatives to collect the fines before a solution was found for the present hitch,” joint commissioner of police, traffic, Amitesh Kumar told HT.

This technology enabled the traffic police to start sending challans to offenders over SMS since January this year by collaborating with the Road Transport Authority (RTO), which maintains the telephone (mobile) data bank of the motorists. 

As soon as the personnel monitoring the cameras at the traffic police control room scan the culprit vehicle’s registration number, it is sent to another set of monitors where the telephone number of the vehicle owner is traced from the RTO data bank.

Within seconds the e-challan (denoting the fine) is generated and the text message is sent to the mobile phone of the motorist through SMS. 

Following the receipt of the challan, the motorist is expected to pay the fine at the chowkie as directed in the challan.

Sources in the traffic police said that the compliance to the SMS challans has been abysmally low ever since it’s launch in January this year. Fines for only 50,000 out of the 8 lakh challans have been deposited so far.

“While in majority of the cases the non-compliance has been deliberate, in other cases the problem occurs when telephone numbers were not updated after the vehicle was sold by the original owner. Also change of mobile number by the vehicle owner without intimating the RTO is the other factor resulting in the plague,” a senior traffic official said.

As an immediate solution, the traffic police have earmarked a plan of action which will be implemented in a phased manner. First, 500 repeat offenders have been identified against whom more than 2,700 challans are pending at present. 

“These are the repeat violators against whom 5 challans each, or more, have been pending over the months,” Joint commissioner Kumar said. 

Traffic chowkies have been given the list to physically trace the address of these motorists from RTO records and summon them to pay up the fine.

In the second phase of the drive, the traffic police would set it’s target on 2,700 more motorists against whom 3 or more challans (each) are pending (total 6,000 challans). “We want to send a message to the violators that there is no let up,” said Kumar.

Meanwhile, another traffic police official said that the glitch has forced the department to look for alternatives. “We are exploring options like approaching the (vehicle) insurance companies for phone number updates of motorists. Side by side, we are also in discussion with private courier companies for sending paper challans at the addresses of the offenders,” the official added.


Instead of traffic police chasing the offenders , can we make the car drivers chase the police , for paying up the fines in a hurry – and ensure that they do not repeat the offence ?

Here is how :

Technology will “ immobilize “ the violating vehicle as soon as it commits the offence for the third time in a month ( even if the car owner has paid up fines for earlier offences )

By implementing :

·         Horn OK ? 


·         Internet of Vehicles ( IoV )


Dear Shri Nitin Gadkariji :

For implementing such a technological solution , we don’t need to wait for Elon Musk to set up e-Car plant in India ( - although he will love such a challenge ! )

If challenged , the technologists of our Car Manufacturers and ISRO , can put this solution in place within one year !

What is holding us back  ?

17  June  2017