LAHORE: Any plans of violating traffic rules in the provincial capital better be put on hold as the more heavy-footed motorist is likely to receive an e-ticket in the mail.
The Camera Integrated Fining system has started functioning in the city on a trial basis and warning tickets have been sent to the homes of traffic violators through courier.
More than 1,000 e-tickets have been sent to vehicle users who committed violations on Mall Road. The CIF, which is part of the Rs120 million Safe City Project (SCP) of the Punjab government, will start full functionality after amendments are made to the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1965.
Cameras installed on poles are ever ready to snap a picture of a violating vehicle’s number plate, through an automated process, and send it to an Integrated Command, Control and Communication Centre.
There, officials verify the violations and extract the owner’s information from the Excise and Taxation database. After verification by traffic officials, an automated receipt is generated and it contains an image of the violation. The ticket is finally dispatched to the violator’s residence through courier.
Salman Sufi, a senior member of the Special Monitoring Unit (Law and Order), tells The Express Tribune that the CIF will eliminate the chances of getting away with a traffic violation through a bribe. He adds traffic wardens will simply regularise traffic movement and have nothing to do with offences.
He reveals they are introducing personalised number plates which will be registered in the name of the owner, who will keep it for his next vehicle in case he sells the first one.
He says the new number plates will be province-centric, unlike the present set up which is city specific.
Project in progress
SCP Managing Director DIG Ali Amir Malik tells The Express Tribune that one pole has been made operational on Mall Road for testing purposes and is issuing warning tickets for signal or lane violations.
He adds authorities are trying to streamline the system in collaboration with the Excise and Taxation Department to ensure vehicles are registered in the names of users. He continues that cameras will be installed on all traffic junctions connected through a 1,500-kilometre fiber optic cable. “So far, 250 kilometres have been spread.”
He confirms that the system will start functioning once some parts of the relevant law are amended. The DIG says officials will monitor any violation such as improper U-turns, breaking of traffic signal and accidents. The latter, he stresses, are often caused by speeding.
According to the proposed amendments in Section 116-A of MVO 1965, the traffic police or any other authorised person may capture electronic evidence and send the e-receipt directly to the address of the owner of the vehicle.
The person charged with an offence shall, within 15 days of the delivery of the copy of the charge, deposit the fine in a notified electronic traffic fine payment outlet/bank.
The draft further says if the fine is not paid in the given time period, it will be linked with the registration of the vehicle and shall be recovered at the time of payment of token tax or transfer of vehicle. “The vehicle may be impounded and released after the fine is paid,” it said.
The proposed amendment states that 15% of the fine amount shall be given to the traffic police based on performance.
At the same time, the traffic police will use 25% for the purchase of logistical equipment and 2% of the fine shall be paid to the Excise, Taxation and Narcotics Control Department against fines attached with the registration record of the number plates.
The Punjab government has planned to replicate this system in seven districts of the province such as Lahore, Multan, Bahawalpur, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Faisalabad and Sargodha. In Islamabad, the system was introduced six years ago and has 2,000 cameras. The project for Lahore alone will have 8,000 cameras.