As many of us would know, it is a law in Pakistan and in many countries all over the world to get vehicles transferred in the name of the new buyer within a given period of time which by law is a legal requirement. But with the lack of enforcement action taken on the people who stray from this legal obligation this is not a very fond practice in Pakistan. Officials state that this practice of not transferring you’re vehicle in you’re name whenever you purchase it from a previous user, has been going on for some time now but the issues have only been recognized when the Governance of Pakistan started issuing E-Challans to the violators. These E-challans came in to existence in September this year.
Moreover under the new system, the fine tickets for the people who break traffic laws are sent to the addresses of the owners of the vehicle who have been caught or seen violating traffic rules, which include breaking the barriers of the traffic lights or stopping ahead of a zebra crossing through the cameras set up by PSCA. These tickets are then delivered to the owners under whom the car is registered, the problem being, some new owners have not shifted the ownership of the car under their name and hence the challan is sent to the previous owners who have had nothing to do with the violations of the traffic law. Moreover there are also cases in which one car has had its owner changed over 4 or 5 times hence creating further confusion for the relevant authorities.
As per the PSCA officials, over fifteen thousand vehicles have been detected since the launch of e-challans in Lahore. Majority of the vehicles which have been noted are cars, indicating that these are sold more frequently than any other vehicle. The rest include notably rickshaw’s and Vans. Motorcycle’s are only a few as many people stray away from selling or buying a used motor-cycle. Moreover the officials of the excise and taxation department which have the workload of registration of vehicles in the province have stated that the law of the country provides for the transfer of ownership of vehicles within one month of purchase. Hence the problem of the non-transferred vehicles is a very big issue for the law enforcement agencies and for the citizens too.
Notably a local doctor, states that he had received a fine ticket on a vehicle he had sold before going to a foreign country. He says that this vehicle was sold a very long time ago. He further states that right now its only a challan but later on that car could be involved in crime or an accident, which will require me to prove my innocence without despite not owning the vehicle anymore. Furthermore officials from both the PCSA department and the excise department say that they are moving towards a solution to this issue because, after analyzing the current situation, this can create serious implications for the innocent citizens of the region, all because the official record implies that the vehicle is under their name while really it was someone else who carried out the illegal activity.
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The Excise Director General Akram Ashraf Gonadal says that their department has asked PCSA to start the process of validation by commencing the operation of collecting current data of the vehicles from it as a immediate measure to handle the current issue. He further added that as a long term measure the department is going to make it obligatory for the owners of all types of vehicles to show the transfer letter at the time they will be paying off their token fee. Moreover the PCSA had also advised the government to somewhat introduce a bio-metric system for the purchase and selling of vehicles. This would in turn help in forcing the people to have the vehicles they own transferred in to their own names immediately after buying them from the previous owners of the vehicle.
Finally MrSabih states that “locating the actual owner of a vehicle was technically not the responsibility or the task of the PCSA, but the government had started nabbing multiple traffic rules violators no matter they were driving transferred vehicles “. Moreover he also told us the a story about a scene that the Dolphin force encountered. The Dolphin force impounded a small car whose owner did not pay for about 30 fines. The car was only allowed to be used again after the owner paid of all the fines. MrSabih also gave the people some sort of assurance by saying “We are all trying to figure out how to remover the defects(in the latest system)”
Out of the 24 codes of the traffic currently the authorities have only imposed two, one is for jumping the signal and the other is for stopping the vehicles in front of the zebra crossing. Now with successful but relatively problematic launch of the e-challans, a further of two codes will be added under the category of the E-challan one for speeding and the other for changing lines and lanes will be introduced.