ISLAMABAD: A number of deficiencies have been detected in the e-challan and payment system introduced in the capital to ensure efficient traffic management.
It has been learnt that drivers involved in violations have to pay an extra amount of Rs30 while paying the fine through digital money transfer platforms. Besides, points for suspension of driving licence are awarded to the owner even if the vehicle was driven by someone else while violating the traffic rules, officials told Dawn.
Because of such loopholes, the capital police have decided to make a fresh agreement with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), making it between two government organisations, to collect the fine manually as well as digitally.
They said e-challans were being issued through Safe City Islamabad while the police were monitoring the traffic violations with the help of the system’s CCTVs.
Fresh agreement to be inked with NBP to collect fine both manually and digitally, says police official
At present, the traffic fine is paid at the NBP manually and through two mobile-based digital money transfer platforms. The platforms, including a private bank, are charging Rs25 as service charge. Besides, if the fine is paid through a vendor, the latter also charge Rs5.
The officials admitted that the service charges were high and while making the agreement with the digital money transferring platforms the officers concerned had ignored the issue even though the platform was provided to facilitate the motorists especially those who come to Islamabad from other parts of the country.
The officials said the agreement inked with the money transfer platforms was about to expire and the authority concerned had decided to make a fresh agreement with the NBP to authorise it to collect the fine either manually or through a digital money transfer platform.
In this regard, efforts were in progress to finalise the proposals for the agreement.
The officials said that e-challan was issued against the registration number of a vehicle. A vehicle is registered against the details of a person but the same vehicle is also being driven by his family members or a driver, they added.
However, the challan is issued to the owner of the vehicle, even if the traffic violation is committed by any other person. On each challan, one to three points were awarded to the owner depending on the nature of the violation.
The officials said people who sold their vehicles to others were also receiving e-challan messages on their mobile phones from Safe City. Such vehicles were being used by new owners on open letters or without transferring them in their names.
Over each challan, a point is awarded to the violator and upon getting five points, the driving licence of the violator may be suspended for a period of six months after giving the violator an opportunity of being heard. In case of getting 10 points, the driving licence may be suspended for a year.
In case of a fatal road accident, the driving licence may be suspended till the acquittal order is issued by the relevant court, the officials said. In case of a non-fatal accident, the deriving licence may be suspended for a year.
The officials said three points each were given for disobeying signals, reckless and negligent driving and driving without a driving licence.
Two points each are awarded over exceeding the prescribed speed limit, driving a vehicle exceeding prescribed weigh limits or overloading of goods, 15 persons in excess of limits, overloading where prohibited, loading in excess of the restriction of dimension of goods, driving at the wrong side of the road, following too closely or cutting too sharply, riding motorcycle without a safety helmet, careless driving, driving any vehicle without fastening seat-belt by the driver and front seat passenger, using hand-held mobile phone while driving for voice calls, text message or making videos, taking part in unauthorised race or trial or speed, driving when mentally or physically unfit or under influence of drug or alcohol.
One point each is awarded for carrying passengers in public service vehicles exceeding permissible limits, violation of manual traffic signals, overloading, overtaking where prohibited, obstructing the movement of an emergency vehicle, driving at night without proper light, improper loading of goods or improperly loaded goods, failure to yield right of way to pedestrians and improper lane usage.
When contacted, a police public relations officer said he would approach the Safe City director general for comments and reply back. However, he was not available when contacted again.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2023
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