‘Traffic e-challan,' an initiative of the Kerala Police through which the public can pay traffic fines through any branch of the State Bank of Travancore in the country, and Akshya centres within the State, was inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here on Thursday. The pilot scheme would be extended to other areas if found successful, Mr. Chandy said. The police would analyse feedback from motorists, and fine-tune the scheme if need be, before the facility was extended.

Strict enforcement of traffic rules was needed in the State in view of mounting road accidents and vehicle population and the scant respect the public had for law. “All are equal before law. All vehicles that violate traffic rules should be treated equally,” Mr. Chandy said.

Pointing out that drunk driving was a major cause of road accidents in the State, the Chief Minister said checking for drunk driving should be done in a scientific manner, without causing trouble to the passengers.

More traffic police personnel would be appointed since the vehicle population was surging, he said.

The e-challan system would help save time while remitting fines and reduce the chance of corruption, Mr. Chandy added.

Within 20 days

The person concerned can remit the fine in an SBT branch or Akshya centre within 20 days of the receipt of the challan. In addition to the fine, the bank will levy a nominal service charge.

The police will use a challan that will be in the triplicate and serially numbered with a 10-digit alpha numeral. The challan will be in a booklet form. Once the offender says he will remit the fine in the bank, the officer will write the amount in all the three challans and hand over two copies to the person.

The official will retain one copy of the challan. At the bank or Akshaya centre, the person will be given a copy once he makes the payment and the other will be retained at the office. If the offender does not remit the money within 20 days, the police will submit a report to the court and a summons will be issued. State Police Chief Jacob Punnoose said those booked had the option of challenging the police action in court. The existing facility of paying the fine on the spot to the police official or remitting later at the traffic or police station will continue for the time being.

Mayor K. Chandrika presided over the function. Inspector General of Police, Thiruvananthapuram range, K. Padmakumar, Managing Director of State Bank of Travancore P. Nanda Kumaran, Councillor K. Suresh Kumar, City Police Commissioner Manoj Abraham, and Deputy Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Rajpal Meena spoke.