LAHORE - City traffic police have introduced electronic and digital ticketing system in Lahore for violators of traffic laws.
The traffic officers, in order to educate motorists about the new scheme, have started issuing warning-slips to the drivers in case they break traffic rules on the leading roads. The warning campaign will continue for at least three weeks.
Officials say the first of its kind initiative will replace manual challan books. The technology will help traffic officers send tickets at the home addresses of violators once they are caught on cameras. The drivers will also be able to pay the fine amount on-the-spot instead of visiting nearby banks.
A traffic officer Wednesday told The Nation that at least 90 traffic wardens are equipped with smart machines in the initial stage. He said that the scheme was launched on The Mall as a pilot project and it would be extended to all traffic sectors in Lahore within months.
Chief traffic officer Rai Ijaz Ahmed says his department launched the digital-ticketing to facilitate citizens and ensure real-time check on various violations. The violators of traffic laws will also be identified with the help of CCTV cameras installed on city roads as part of the multi-billion Safe City Authority project.
“The new ticketing system will provide us real time information about the working of our officers on roads. This will also help police identity habitual or regular violators,” the officer said.
Rai Ijaz Ahmed further said that his department would cancel the driving licences of motorists found involved in repeated violations of traffic laws. “On each violation, one or two points of the drivers will be deleted. So, the driver will remain careful in future,” the officer said. “On the other hand, this digital ticketing system will be hassle-free. Also, it has some important features that would help our department monitor the working of traffic staff.”
Another official familiar with the development said that at least 350 smart machines called POS (point of sale) were being provided to the Lahore traffic police for e-ticketing. Some additional features are added in the latest machines having android based application including biometric attendance and wireless communication, he explained.
Under the e-challaning mechanism, traffic officers will issue challan tickets to violators digitally. The motorists will be able to pay the fine amount by using multiple electronic sources including credit cards, ATM cards, and mobile phone cards.
At present, the fine payment procedure is lengthy, complicated, and corruption-tainted as well. Citizens are bound to deposit the fine amount to a few designated bank branches to get back registration books of vehicles, driving licences, or ID cards. Traffic officers routinely seize registration books or driving licenses after issuing challan tickets to the drivers.
Motorists particularly those belonged to others cities of the Punjab province complained that they had to suffer a lot during bank holidays because of manual ticketing system. Since banks are closed in the evening, there is no way to deposit fine amount during the night hours.
Now, motorists will be using their swipe cards to be able to pay the fine amount on the spot. The POS machines will be connected with the main server of the Punjab Safe City Authority. This on-line device will also be connected with the Punjab Excise Department, Anti-Vehicle Lifting Staff, and driving licence issuance management system, according to officials.
More than 300 patrolling officers and 40 sector in-charges will be equipped with POS machines by the end of next month.
“The e-ticketing system will help drivers and traffic officers in many ways. Simply, this initiative will clear the (manual) mess. From issuance of fine tickets to payments, the entire procedure will be online and transparent,” says SSP Rai Ijaz Ahmed.
Many people don’t follow traffic rules and laws in this sprawling metropolis where millions of vehicles are plying on roads. Every year, the traffic police issue challan tickets to more than one million drivers on various violations ranging from over-speeding to over-changing and wrong parking to underage driving.
According to the official data (available with The Nation), the city traffic police issued challan tickets to at least 473,665 drivers during the first three months of this years. In 2016, at least 340,293 persons were penalized for violating traffic laws in town during the same period.
Traffic officers say the e-ticketing system will help police stop repeated violations of traffic laws besides regulating the traffic management in the provincial capital. The authorities will extend this project to other big cities in different phases in the future.