How Does The E-Challan System Work in India?

The ever-increasing number of traffic accidents has been a matter of concern for people and authorities alike. While the Road Regular Rules (1989) make it mandatory for every driver to follow traffic rules, India still sees a high number of traffic-related accidents caused by violations. Challans has been long in use to check these offenders. Read on to learn about the latest way of rounding up rogue traffic violators- the e-challan.

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What Is E-Challan?

As per the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, a challan can be issued by a traffic police officer in the name of any traffic-rules violators. It is an official text which initially used to be issued on a piece of paper and is now generated electronically on a wide scale.

These e-challans have been a great success to ensure that people follow traffic rules even when nobody is watching. Also, an e-challan can be generated on the spot as well as later when they're caught on camera footage. An official app is downloaded on the traffic policeman's phone through which they can click pictures and enter the violations immediately.

As per the service provided by the respective state, those who are issued an e-challan can now be paid online, also reducing the chances of corruption through bribes, etc. because of cashless transactions. With the help of the electronic traffic challan system, the traffic police have been successfully monitoring any violations.

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How are E-Challans Issued?

Now that it's clear that e-challan is just an electronically generated challan, you should also learn about how it works to avoid any misunderstandings later. Thanks to digitalization, many stages are involved in a challan, and its fine payment can be easily done online. These are made possible because of CCTV cameras that continuously record the ongoing traffic.

Here is the whole process simplified:

  • Every act is recorded in the footage, including any traffic rule violation.
  • After this, the police can easily extract the vehicle number from this CCTV footage screenshot.
  • Once it's confirmed, the offense will be registered in the police records.
  • The traffic police will then contact the RTO(Regional Transport Office) and find further details of the vehicle along with its owner (name, address, model number, etc.)
  • Once the number and address are confirmed, the offense will be communicated to them via SMS along with the exact date, time, description, and location of the offense.

After receiving the e-challan, you can head to the suggested website/location to pay the fine. If you feel there has been a mistake, then you can take this matter to the court.

How Does the E-Challan System Work in India?

According to different reports, the number of drivers that were informed about their violations through e-challans was almost double the number of those caught on the road by an officer.

Thanks to CCTV surveillance, the violators can't talk or bribe their way out of a challan. Earlier, they could make excuses or even threaten traffic policemen, often evading fines.

The whole process has become contactless and different cameras serve different purposes. For instance, there are specific cameras only to monitor red-light jumping and others for over-speeding. This increases the efficiency and accuracy of the violation as there is a timestamp that doesn’t allow any tampering with the evidence later.

Since the date, time, and camera number are encrypted, it is hard for even the authorities to tamper with this footage. This footage is sent to the National Vehicle Registry Database of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (VAHAN) after which the offender is notified.

This has reduced a lot of time and conflict which is not uncommon. However, this has also drastically increased the number of challans being generated. The good news is that these can be contested in a judicial court if a mistake has been made.

Paying for e-Challan

If an e-challan is issued in your name, there are two ways to pay for it- online or offline. The steps have been briefly provided below:

Online Payment of e-Challan

  • Visit the website provided in the SMS through which you've been informed of the e-challan
  • The website may vary for different states, you can select accordingly
  • Find the unique challan number provided to you to enter in the website's column
  • You'll be directed to the payment page

Offline Payment of e-Challan

You can do so by visiting the nearest police station using your e-challan number which was provided to you.

How to Avoid e-Challans?

Nobody wants to pay fines. If you want to avoid paying one, avoid getting one. While many offenders deliberately break traffic rules, it is always suggested to follow all traffic rules irrespective of time. Here are some ways to avoid getting an e-challan:

  • Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Make sure you do your own research and know the important traffic rules. For example, it's illegal to take selfies while driving. Not knowing this won't save you from a fine!
  • Ensure optimum condition of your vehicle. This can be done by buying comprehensive car insurance online so that you are financially capable of handling its repairs and damages.
  • Follow all the rules like lane discipline, traffic signals, wearing proper seat belts, not exceeding speed limits, and others.
  • Carry all important documents related to your vehicles including your driving license, motor insurance, (PUC) pollution control certificate, etc. If caught driving without these, you will end up paying a hefty amount of fine up to Rs. 10,000.

To conclude,

While e-challans have made it quick and convenient to handle traffic violations, it is best to steer clear of them. Make sure you have comprehensive car insurance which includes any third-party liabilities and other damages to your vehicle. If you follow these small rules diligently, you can drive carefree without worrying about any hefty fine or emergency vehicular expenses.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 02 November 2021
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