Fines for traffic violations will be collected directly from FASTag accounts of vehicle owners in Chennai, reported The Hindu. The Greater Chennai Corporation and city police will work together to automate the traffic fine system using FASTags and cameras fitted across the city. This will be the first instance of FASTags being integrated with traffic violation penalties.
90% of Chennai’s four-wheelers already have FASTag, an unnamed official told the publication. This would allow the fine to be deducted from the accounts of violators once the cameras capture violations. The Corporation has reportedly installed 500 cameras at important junctions on routes used by buses. More cameras will be installed along the roads. The cameras had been reportedly installed using funding under the Smart Cities mission.
What we don’t know: It is unknown if the penalties collected using FASTag will be instantaneous. While FASTag wallets can be linked directly to a user’s bank account using auto-recharge options, most users continue to recharge their wallets manually. Hence, many FASTag accounts may not have enough balance to pay traffic fines that range between ₹500 and ₹20,000 in the city.
MediaNama reached out to the office of N Kannan, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Chennai Police, however were unable to speak to him. We were told to visit the office to speak to him. Other senior traffic police officials we contacted said only Kannan could comment on the matter.
First time FASTag being integrated into traffic fine system
If the Chennai Police and Corporation go ahead with this plan, it will be the first time that FASTag is linked to road traffic violations anywhere in the country. The tags — which have been mandatory for all vehicles bought after December 2017 — have only been necessary for highway travel to make payments at toll plazas.
The Chennai administration’s plan also figures into the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways’ desire to make FASTAg unavoidable for the average motorist. Earlier in September, the ministry made the tags mandatory for availing discounts offered on two-way tolls. In July, the ministry had announced that FASTag details would be captured when a vehicle is registered or is issued a fitness certificate. The National Electronic Toll Collections system, which handles FASTag payments, had been integrated into the national vehicle registration database VAHAN.
In a further push, the ministry recently said it was considering making FASTag mandatory for vehicles sold before December 2017. Additionally, FASTag could also be mandated for getting new third-party insurance policies.