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Home / Motor Insurance / Articles / Traffic Rules / How Does The e-Challan System Work in India?

How Does The e-Challan System Work in India?

TeamAckoMar 2, 2024

With technology drastically changing how we live and work, it is no surprise that even the age-old system of penalising traffic violators has been revolutionised with the introduction of e-challans. India's e-challan system has made penalising traffic violations more efficient and transparent. 

This article will discuss how the traffic challan system electronically works in India, what violations are commonly encountered, and its key benefits. With an automated system like this, people can pay their penalties quickly while improving road safety and reducing fatalities due to road accidents.

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Contents

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What is the e-Challan?

The e-Challan is a computer-generated challan launched by Indian traffic police to penalise traffic rule violators. It is an automatic electronic ticketing system that notifies drivers who violate traffic regulations. It also makes the work of the traffic police easy, as there will be no involvement of hard cash, as everything is now digital, which also helps maintain transparency.

How does the e–challan system work in India? 

The e-Challan system is a technology-based solution that helps monitor traffic violations. It utilises CCTV footage to capture the defaulters and obtain the registration number of their vehicles. It allows the traffic police officers to retrieve the contact information of the motorist from their records and issue a traffic challan for violations as per The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. This automated system ensures compliance with traffic rules by providing a fast and efficient way to penalise violators.

  • CCTV Cameras and Automated Monitoring

CCTV cameras are an integral part of the e-challan system, which forms the backbone of traffic enforcement and management nationwide. These cameras continuously record and monitor traffic flow, quickly detecting any violations of traffic rules. When a motorist breaks a rule, this activity is captured in the camera and turned into encrypted data, which is then sent to a centralised server at the Traffic Control Room.

To further improve efficiency, ANPR cameras can be used for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). This technology enables faster reading and updates of vehicle registration numbers to obtain information about the violator's contact details, making it easier for the Police to act according to The Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

This automated monitoring system has proven to be a successful tool for enforcing traffic regulations and managing road conditions.

  • Registration Number Extraction

The e-challan system makes it easier for traffic police to enforce laws and regulations by helping them to identify, track, and contact motorists who have committed a violation. Once the CCTV footage is obtained, the police can use the e-challan system to extract the registration number of the offending vehicle. With access to this information, they can look up the contact information of the motorist and notify them of their violations. The e-challan system eliminates the need for traffic police to manually visit each location to monitor activity or look for violators, making it much easier and more efficient for them to do their job.

  • Contact Information Derivation

Once the vehicle's registration number is extracted, information about the owner can be derived from the RTO or Vahan and Sarathi apps. This contact information allows authorities to issue an e-challan for the committed traffic violation to the concerned person. The e-challan is sent to the defaulter through SMS or email, containing details about the breach and fines payable. It helps ensure that traffic rules are followed and people are made aware of their road responsibilities.

  • The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988

The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is the legal basis for the e-challan system in India. This Act outlines the rules and regulations that must be adhered to by all motorists. It states that motorists will be issued a challan as legal notice of their offence if they violate traffic laws. The Act also specifies the penalties associated with traffic violations, such as fines and other charges. Additionally, the Act outlines the circumstances under which a driver may be exempt from paying a challan, such as providing proof of valid insurance or registration documents. The Motor Vehicles Act 1988 is an important means of ensuring that motorists adhere to the traffic laws of India and that penalties are imposed for violations.

  • Commonly Encountered Traffic Violations in India

One of India's most common traffic violations is running a red light. This offence can result in fines or other penalties, including the licence suspension for a particular duration. Driving without valid documents is another violation that can lead to hefty fines and potentially jail time, based on the seriousness of the offence. Additionally, not wearing a seat belt while driving or riding in a vehicle is also illegal and can attract hefty fines. Over-speeding or using cell phones while driving are serious offences that carry heavy penalties.

  • Penalties for Traffic Violations

Penalties for traffic challan violations can range from small fines to jail time, based on the severity of the offence. In such cases, the police will issue an e-challan to notify the violator about payment of a penalty for breaking traffic laws. As per The Motor Vehicles Rules, 1988, the maximum amount that can be levied as a fine is Rs. 10,000 each for those driving without a valid licence or using an unregistered vehicle.

CCTV cameras installed nationwide continuously monitor and record traffic conditions to identify violators. By extracting the vehicle number from this footage along with its associated contact information, the police can issue an e-challan quickly. Hence, all vehicle owners must adhere to traffic laws to help ensure road safety and avoid hefty penalties as specified by The Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

Benefits of the e-Challan System

The e-Challan system has several benefits for motorists and traffic police.

  • For motorists, it provides an easy and convenient way of paying their fines without waiting in line or visiting the traffic police station.

  • It also helps avoid any potential embarrassment from being caught breaking a traffic rule.

  • It also helps reduce human errors associated with manual challan issuances.

  • Moreover, this system also helps reduce road accidents due to improved compliance with traffic rules.

  • For the traffic police, it provides an automated way of issuing challans, saving time and effort and reducing any manual errors that may occur with handwriting or incorrect information entry.

  • Insurance companies can tailor their policies and plans more accurately according to the risk posed by each driver.

  • With the help of this system, there is also improved transparency and accountability, as all records are stored digitally and can be easily accessed whenever needed.

How to pay E-Challan?

The Government of India has made paying challan online very convenient. Each Indian state has its dedicated transport website, which you can use to make the challan payment. Another way is to make the payment through the government's official website. The process of payment could vary slightly from one state to another. However, it is mostly straightforward. 

E-Challan Payment: Online Process (Official Website) 

Here are the steps to make an e-challan payment online.

  • Visit the E-Challan Parivahan website.

  • Select Challan number, DL number/Vehicle number.

  • Check the displayed pending fines. 

  • Enter the details asked, followed by the captcha. 

  • Click "Get Details" and proceed to "Pay Now." 

  • Select your preferred payment mode to pay the fine.

  • After making the payment, you will receive an SMS on your registered phone.

  • Save the sms or note the transaction ID for future reference. 

Note: If you have no challan pending, the website will display a dialogue box, "Challan Not Found". Hence, there is no need to make any payment. 

E-Challan Payment: Offline Process 

There are two ways you can pay challan fines offline.

  • Visit Your Nearest Police Station

Locate a police station nearby where you have been fined with the challan. Carry your Driving Licence, address and identity proof, and the traffic violation challan you got from the traffic police. Make the payment through cash or card and get the receipt.

  • Pay Through Traffic Police Officer 

Find a traffic police officer with an e-challan machine. Show your Driving Licence, ID proof and challan. Pay the fine using cash or a card and get the receipt. 

How to check E-Challan Status Online

E-challan check is essential to avoid any dispute. After you pay the fine, ensure you keep checking the status frequently. The process of reviewing the e-challan status online is simple. Here are the steps.

  • Visit the E-Challan Parivahan website.

  • Click the "Check Challan Status" option.

  • Punch in your vehicle number or Driving Licence number.

  • Next, select the penalty for traffic violation listed there.

  • If there is a violation, the system will display a list of offences with a penalty amount. 

  • If there is no violation, the system will display "Challan Not Found." 

Note: You can follow the online or offline option to make the payment in case of a violation.

How to check challan by vehicle number? 

The process to check challan by vehicle number is the same as the online process. Here are the steps.

  • Visit the E-Challan Parivahan website.

  • Select Vehicle number

  • Check the displayed pending fines. 

  • Enter the details asked, followed by the captcha. 

  • Click "Get Details" and proceed to "Pay Now." 

  • Select your preferred payment mode to pay the fine.

  • After making the e-challan payment, you will receive an SMS on your registered phone.

  • Save the sms or note the transaction ID for future reference. 

How can you avoid Challans?

Following all the traffic rules and regulations helps you avoid challan and penalties and keeps you safe. So, more than preventing challan, you must focus on road safety. To avoid legal penalties, challans and fines, here are some handy tips.

Follow Road Safety Rules

The Road Ministry of India has specific road safety rules everyone must follow. These include 

  • Go Left: Always drive on the left and let other vehicles move through the right side of the road.

  • Move Through Right: When overtaking another vehicle, always use the right side of the road. Make sure to notify the front vehicle about overtaking by giving a horn. Wait for the front vehicle to give way. 

  • Use Indicators: Use indicators to notify other vehicles about your movement plan, be it moving left or right.

  • Stop at Stop Line: Ensure you always stop at the stop lines before the zebra crossing. 

Other safety rules such as wearing seat belts/helmets and obeying the speed limit and more must be followed.

Follow Traffic Rule

It is a no-brainer. Whether you are on the road with a vehicle or without, following traffic rules is for everyone. However, to avoid traffic challan, ensure you obey traffic signals and signs, lane markings, parking regulations and more. 

Maintain All Documents

Ensure you have all updated documents while riding a bike or driving a car. A valid driver's licence, vehicle registration papers, insurance papers, and PUC are some documents you must always carry and keep up-to-date to avoid fines. 

Never Use Mobile While Driving 

Using a mobile while riding a bike or driving a car is illegal in India and dangerous. Ensure you avoid texting, calling, or using the phone for any reason. It might distract you from driving, leading to breaking traffic rules and causing an accident. 

Park Properly

Pay attention to how and where you park your vehicle. Ensure you only park your car in designated parking areas, not in the no-parking zones, footpaths, or prohibited areas. 

Maintain Your Vehicle

Regularly service your vehicle and perform necessary repairs. Never drive/ride your vehicle with faulty brakes, broken lights, or other safety issues. It can lead to traffic violations and challan.

Avoid over-speeding

Always be focused on the prescribed speed limits on the roads and highways. Never overspeed, especially in residential, school/university, and crowded areas. It can lead to accidents, leading to heavy penalties. 

Never Drink and Drive

Drinking and driving is a serious offence in our country. Driving under alcohol or drug influence is, again, illegal and dangerous. Hence, always drive sober, within speed limits and avoid any substances hindering your driving ability or road safety. 

The best ways to avoid traffic e-challan are driving safely, being responsible, and being law-abiding. Prioritise road safety and follow all traffic rules and regulations to prevent legal penalties.

Challenges of the e-Challan System

Even though the e-Challan system has proved effective in curbing traffic violations, it has challenges. One of the significant challenges is that e-challan can be a time-consuming process and needs a lot of resources to implement. It means that it takes time to set up and maintain the system and install the necessary cameras and other equipment. 

Additionally, some people are still unaware of the system, which means they may be unaware of their obligations and potential penalties for non-compliance. Furthermore, there are difficulties in collecting fines from those who have committed offences, as they may not be easily traceable or liable for payment. Lastly, there are issues with accuracy due to lighting conditions and vehicle speeds, which can lead to incorrect enforcement or incorrect identification of vehicles.

Conclusion

The e-Challan system has proven to be a successful and efficient way to curb rising traffic violations. It is a form of ticketing that penalises drivers for violating traffic rules, making people more mindful of their actions on the road. The automated monitoring system with CCTV cameras also provides more accurate data to improve the enforcement of traffic rules. 

Despite its many benefits, some challenges still need to be addressed to make the e-Challan system more effective and efficient. With proper implementation and regulation, the e-Challan system can be a powerful tool in ensuring safer roads and better driving habits.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs

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How can I check my challan online in India?

You can check your challan online by visiting the E-Challan Parivahan website. Select the Challan number, DL number/Vehicle number and the challan fines will be displayed.

Which is the best app to check challan online?

Although every state will have separate applications to check challan online, the government of India has launched two mobile apps. These are eChallan and mParivahan, which you can download to check challan online.

What is the challan number in India?

When drivers violate traffic rules or regulations, they will be handed an official document called a challan. It will be issued in the driver's name. Hence they will be responsible for paying the challan penalty. The number mentioned in that challan document is called the challan number.

What is a digital challan?

Digital or e-Challan is a computer-generated challan launched by Indian traffic police to penalise traffic rule violators. It is an automated electronic ticketing system that notifies drivers who violate traffic regulations. It also makes the work of the traffic police easy, as there will be no involvement of hard cash, as everything is now digital, which also helps maintain transparency.

What is the validity of challan?

A challan is valid up to 60 days from the issue date in India. It might be forwarded to the court if you miss paying the challan fine. 

Can the traffic police fine you twice daily for the same reason?

No, the traffic police cannot find you twice for the same offence, except for overspeeding. Also, if you lose the receipt of your earlier fine and are driving in another state, the traffic police can fine you again if you commit any offence.

What happens if we don't pay challan in India?

It is a serious offence if we fail to pay an e-Challan fine in India within 60 days from the date of issue. A traffic police officer will visit the offender to try and collect the penalty from their address. If the fine remains unpaid, then they will be summoned to court. And if the person fails to appear in court, their licence will stand suspended until the fine is paid. It is a big deal and not something that should be taken lightly.

Who can issue challan in India?

In India, traffic police officers are the only individuals that can issue a challan. Only head constables or those of higher posts have been bestowed this power. It is easy to identify as these individuals are seen wearing the distinctive three stripes of 'V' shape on their uniforms' arms.

Can police take your bike keys in India?

In India, it is illegal for a Traffic cop to take away the keys of any two-wheeler or four-wheeler, regardless of the policeman's rank. As per the Motor Vehicles Act 1932, traffic police can impose heavy fines on violators of traffic norms but cannot confiscate vehicle keys. 

However, if you feel that a traffic police officer has unlawfully taken your car keys, you have the right to complain about it formally. The police officer may seize documents and vehicles if someone breaks the law, but they are not allowed to snatch away or take out your car keys. It is important to remember that traffic police should only use an e-challan machine or another accepted payment method when issuing fines.

What are the most common reasons a citizen gets a traffic police challan in India?

The most frequent reasons Indian citizens get a traffic challan are overspeeding, jumping signals and driving without valid insurance. It is also possible to get a challan for more severe offences such as driving under the influence of alcohol, dangerous driving, unauthorised use of vehicles and more. Remember that fines vary from state to state depending on the offence committed.

Disclaimer: The above content is for informational purposes only. It is recommended to take the help of an expert before making any related decision.

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