Saturday January 29, 2022

ITP starts taking toddler steps

November 15, 2021

Islamabad: Finally, the Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) started taking toddler steps towards adopting ‘E-Challan’ system for monitoring traffic violations in the federal capital!

A friend received this ‘E-challan’ out of the blues, delivered by mail to his home address and was somewhat perplexed. However, the evidence, the picture of his car with registration number plate very clearly visible, the stretch of the road he was travelling on was irrefutable.

Even date and time and the speed he was driving at when caught on camera was also mentioned according to which he was driving at 99-km per hour, 19-km too fast than the prescribed limit of 80-km per hour!

My friend was busy contemplating as to how he was going to cope with this matter of over speeding in future because at many places the speed limit signs are not present or are not visible enough.

However, Bhabi has her own concerns! “Look a bit closely. Who is in the passenger seat?” she asked!!

Well, we are not sure if this picture was grabbed from the film recorded by the roadside laser-gun speed check camera or by a fixed monitoring and recording camera. However, by clarity of the picture one can make a guess that it was from top with the help of a fixed over-head camera.

A few months back the ITP started the trial of using fixed cameras to monitor traffic rules violations. First focus of this trial was to check traffic signal violations and the ITP started sending out ‘E-challans’ against ‘signal jumping’ to the violators.

However, those ‘E-challans’ were sent as ‘Warnings’ only and no fines were imposed in the beginning.

Now that the ITP has officially launched this venture of ‘E-Challan’ system, one believes it will gradually bring about the desired results of streamlining traffic flow on our roads and main avenues in the federal capital once the teething problems were overcome.

One issue that will take some time to be resolved is that most of the vehicles are not registered in the names of the person actually driving or owning the vehicles, especially the motorbikes.

But, one hopes that like in Lahore, this matter would also be resolved with the passage of time where defaulters of fines will be apprehended randomly or at the time of sale/purchase or while paying the annual token tax!

It would have been a good idea had the ITP publicized launch of this ‘E-Challan’ system extensively. Just like the pioneer of ITP, Sultan Azam Taimuri did when he launched the force in the federal capital.

Another positive initiative those at the helm of affairs in the ITP can adopt would be use of drones to monitor traffic congestion and bottlenecks in the flow of traffic, especially during busy hours like in the mornings and evenings. Especially on the Islamabad Expressway, the Jinnah Avenue, Margalla Avenue, and the Srinagar Highway where motorists face problems during rush hours.

A quick and precise intervention after spotting any serious congestion, caused by volume of traffic or because of some accident, will certainly be a great help towards maintaining a smooth traffic flow.