MUMBAI: Mumbai traffic police has sent driving licences of 2,000 motorists for suspension to regional transport offices (RTO) for failing to pay up three or more challans.
The motorists will be required to give an explanation as to why their licences should not be permanently cancelled.
“Our current recovery rate of challans is 30%. In the next six months, we intend to attain a recovery rate of 50%,” said Yashasvi Yadav, joint commissioner, traffic.
State transport commissioner Avinash Dhakne said the RTOs could suspend licences for a period of three to six months if vehicle owners who had not paid three or more challans fail to provide a valid explanation. In serious cases, licences could be revoked.
“It is not an easy task to zero in on the actual offender since in several instances, the driver who committed the traffic violation is not the same as the owner of the vehicle,” said Dhakne. The notices are always served to the vehicle owner. “There have been instances where the addresses are vague or mobile numbers are incorrect. Recovering fines becomes difficult then,” said an RTO official.
The state traffic department will soon start a setup resembling a call centre where police personnel will make calls to all those offenders who have failed to pay challans and remind them. A select team of policemen will also visit residences of those with a high number of pending challans to “politely” remind them to pay up.
An RTO official said it would no longer be possible for an offender to escape paying fines once an e-challan has been issued.
“Earlier, there used to be some cases where after a driving licence was impounded, the vehicle owner would make a false complaint with the police that his licence had been lost and would apply to the RTO for a duplicate licence. But now, all data about pending fines and driving licences is uploaded on a centralised server which can be accessed by police as well as RTOs. So, the police can verify if a motorist’s driving licence is suspended or revoked and what are the fines imposed on him,” the official said.
Meanwhile, in a separate drive, traffic police cracked the whip on 5,000 motorists in a single day, on Tuesday, for sporting fancy number plates on their vehicles. About 1,200 of these challans were issued in the west region alone.