By the end of September, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) have collected over ₹141 crore in fines this year. The amount this time has surpassed the annual fine collection of the last three years, including the pre-pandemic year 2019. From a total of 80,79,942 cases, out of which 74,26,775 were contactless, a whopping total of ₹1,41,40,21,420 has been collected in fines till end of September.
According to the data on the BTP website, the fine collection amounts have consistently gone up in the last few years. While more than ₹89 crore was collected in 2019, in 2020, it was ₹99 crore. Even amidst the partial lockdown in 2021, the numbers crossed the ₹100-crore mark and over ₹140 crore were collected from traffic violators.
The BTP often faces wrath from the citizens about its fine collection practices with many alleging that the officials neglect traffic management and only focus on catching violators. However, Joint Commissioner, Traffic, B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda says that it is not the case. Speaking to The Hindu, he said, “Fining the violators is not important, but compliance is. If commuters are compliant to the rules, then we are very happy. Our purpose is not fine collection at all.”
In what could be an indication of the effects of absence of vehicle towing, parking related offences have also increased this year. The number of cases registered for wrong parking, footpath parking and parked at intersection by the end of last month have all crossed the number of cases which were booked in the entire year for the same offences in the previous two years. A total of 8,27,671 cases of wrong parking have been filed this year while 1,11,190 cases have been booked for footpath parking and 16,086 cases for parking at intersection.
“There is an increase in parking violations, but we have been using wheel clamps for the same”, Mr. Gowda said. The policemen have also booked over 4 lakh cases under the no entry offence, 8,350 cases against HTVs driving in prohibited roads and 13,761 cases against those who ride on footpaths up until September 30.