Traffic violators dodge penalties showing the ‘No Change’ card
A drop of 15-20 per cent seen in the amount of fines collected by the city traffic cops.
VISAKHAPATNAM: The city traffic police wing is also unable to get through the demonetisation phase unscathed. According to reports, the fines collected under the Motor Vehicle (MV) Act saw a drop of around 15 to 20 per cent in the last 10 days. Officials are citing the shortage in lower denominations is making them hand-tied while collecting fines on the field.
On an average, between 1,000 to 1,200 cases of traffic violations are being booked a day and around 40,000 cases are booked in a month during normal days in Vizag. According to the traffic police, there has been no change in the number of cases being booked per day after demonetisation but the problem arises as some violators have come up to pay fine with old denominations, while a few are delaying the fine payment citing lack of currency.
Initially, the police have accepted banned denominations for two days, but gradually they too have stopped accepting the currency. Traffic police sources said that people are not giving Rs 100 denominations and instead bringing the banned Rs 500 or Rs 1,000. Most of the public are not willing to spend Rs 100 notes, predicting currency crunch in future.
“Seldom a violator comes with Rs 100 denomination. We have been receiving Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes. Some are giving Rs 2,000, but we don’t have change for that first. It has become a daily routine to debate over demonetisation with the violators,” said a Traffic inspector from the city.
Explaining a case study, a traffic police said that for lack of driving licence (DL), they charge a fine of Rs 500 to motorist driving the vehicle and in case the vehicle belongs to some others, an additional Rs 1,000 would be charged against the owner for giving a bike to a motorist without driving licence. In that case, the total fine would be Rs 1,500. Meanwhile in case of motorists without other documents, a fine of Rs 2,000 will be imposed. Traffic police say that as the number gets bigger, violators are bringing only banned denominations, and not Rs 2,000 notes or Rs 100.
Those who are caught violating the traffic norms on the other hand complain that the police have been asking them to bring exact change and with new currency. The lack of swiping machines with the police is leading to arguments with the public.
“Initially for a week, there was a drop in penalty collection of around 10 to 15 per cent. But it seems like it would come to normalcy soon,” said ADCP (Traffic) K Mahendra Patrudu.