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Old 31st March 2021, 11:57   #1
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Default Ways to avoid traffic challans

Let me start off by calling out very clearly that the idea of this thread is not to promote illegal practices in any way.

What triggered the post was my recent experience with traffic department and general sentiment on the forum that challans are aggressively being issued throughout the country. Just go through this recent thread by ‘Emvi’ if you want to read about experiences of our forum members and you will know in an instant what I am talking about.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/stree...d-highway.html (Overspeeding ticket for 60 kmph speed on a highway!)

Although government’s efforts to bring some sanity on the roads is appreciable. But at the same time, it seems that the speed limits and the implementation of traffic laws is turning out to be a big mess. There is a growing perception that government’s intention is to squeeze out people’s bank balance rather than deterrence and road safety. Giving up, most of us have accepted the challans as cost of driving in the country (what other option do we have anyways?). I think one of the primary reasons for this mess is that Indian infrastructure, speed limit enforcement technology and traffic challan amounts are slowly inching towards global standards (especially Delhi NCR) but laws are still archaic and the speed limits truly ridiculous. This is leading to a situation where enforcing compliance to a badly drafted law is turning out to be as bad as not enforcing a good law. A quick look at the steep fines we have in Delhi for a few common traffic offenses.
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Yours truly was challaned recently for doing 70 km/hour on one of the best roads in Delhi. Since that day, I have been extra cautious not to giveaway the remainder of my hard earned money to the government (~50% of it still goes to them through direct or indirect taxes).
Here are a few things I have tried over past couple of months which seem to have worked for me. These might be trivial for many but I hope atleast some folks find it useful.


Being extra aware about board signages – The old me would not even pay attention to speed signs and other boards. In hindsight, this was not a good practice and the transformed me makes sure I now actively lookout for traffic signages.
Ways to avoid traffic challans-newdelhiindiaspeedlimitstreetboardssigns184547262.jpg


Carrying vehicle documentation everywhere – In the past, I would only bother about having license on me but that does not make the cut anymore. I now make sure I have the RC, PUC, insurance, license with me all time when I am on the road. I have also installed Mparivahan app on my phone with license and RC downloaded in offline mode as an extra precaution. The app is pretty slick till the time is working. The paranoid me now also has a copy of the important documents on google drive in case Mparivahan app throws tantrums
Ways to avoid traffic challans-drivinglicense.jpg


RadarBot app for speed camera alerts – Now I am not related to this app in any way but I find it very useful. The app practically alerts you on presence of speed traps few hundred metres in advance. It is pretty accurate hitting the mark nearly 70-80% of times and this has been a game-changer for me.
Ways to avoid traffic challans-radarbot.png


Undoing customizations – I am not a big fan of customizations but my bike had a non-stock silencer. Not the loud ones you get from Karol Bagh but a sweet exhaust note emitting piece of metal I got couriered from Bangalore
Gurgaon cops are happy to fine you 10k for anything that does not come from RE showroom and going back to the stock silencer was the hardest thing I had to do for avoiding penalties
Collateral damage – My city bike travel has gone down and I am keen to pick the car more often now.
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Extensive use of cruise control – Until recently, I thought of cruise control only as a highway thing. But driving an iVtec and staying within 50 or 60 km/hour on the finest roads of the country is really really tough (impossible I mean). On top of that, being a spirited driver does not help. As a solution to my ‘pedal to the metal’ philosophy/problem, I have taken to extensive use of cruise control within city. It helps by keeping my feet off the accelerator and minimizing chances of accidental overspeeding. Who knew cruise control could be a solution for city driving in India?
Ways to avoid traffic challans-blogpostblogtechtuesdaytipscruisecontrol1024x626.jpg

Calm mind –I have found this as the most effective way to beat the eyes of our law enforcers. A calmer mind really helps you keep the fort, especially when you see other people brazenly breaking the law – wrong side driving, over-speeding, rash lane-changing, etc etc.
My new mantra is – Keep Calm and Drive on.
Ways to avoid traffic challans-drive-.jpg


Knock on the wood, I have been able to stay on the right sight of the law with these hacks. Bhpians - If you have some tricks up your sleeve, then do share!

DISCLAIMER: All pictures sourced from Google.
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Old 31st March 2021, 12:09   #2
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

With the threads like this one emerging:

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/stree...d-highway.html (Overspeeding ticket for 60 kmph speed on a highway!)

I would say that there is just one way to avoid the challan, and the way is - 'quit driving', or take the bus!

Every time in life, I have been challaned only for over speeding, and this is what I have learned.

Cops actually put their speed guns only in three sections:
  • Sections with unrealistic speed limits
  • On arrow straight highways, just next to some corner. You always end up speeding, and the moment you see the gun, your pic is already clicked
  • Straight sections, slightly away from a flyover, and some really beautiful pics of your car, atop the flyover, are clicked.

How I save myself from this?
  • I frequently follow the cars with local number on highways, multiple times it has happened that the driver braked at some section, and then sped up - and there was actually a speed camera When I recently shifted to Dehradun, I was saved from a challan for the same reason. The local Scorpio I was following, suddenly slowed down from 80-90 kph to 40 kph on a straight forest section, right before entering the city. From the cars that overtook us, most of them were seen stopped just a kilometer ahead (speed limit is 50 there)
  • Heavy vehicles, buses or trucks. If I am on a 40-50 kph stretch, and I see a govt bus doing 70-80 kph, I start following the bus, by keeping myself biased towards right, your car can never get captured there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
[b]
RadarBot app for speed camera alerts.
This one I am installing right away.

EDIT: Installed the app and updated all such points in and around Dehradun.

At Team-BHP, we are such a strong community, that even if 5% of all the BHPians decide to update only 2 such locations per month, that will cover around 1 llac such locations pan India, in just a year.

Last edited by VKumar : 31st March 2021 at 12:27.
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Old 31st March 2021, 12:22   #3
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

A good and necessary thread. But I would like to understand more on how to confront and cancel the fake challans. If a traffic cop wants to challan you, he will challan you, where you have slightest of the drop in self-confidence!

Currently,
- I keep my eyes open for spotting any boards from long distance.
- I slow down in junctions even if there are no vehicles and visibility is good.
- Use google maps speed alerts.
- keep good amount of distance from the stop line.
- in case of doubt, I stop, take time and proceed even if someone honks from behind (except for emergency vehicles).
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Old 31st March 2021, 12:39   #4
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Note: The below might be more relevant on this thread (Widespread traffic police checking in Bangalore)

First and foremost, use your car and not the bike in the city, especially in daylight hours even if it is not environment friendly, or it takes longer to commute.

For 3 days when my car was at the service I used my bike to get to work after nearly 3 yrs and it was a torrid experience. Was stopped all three days ( and on one day twice) for document checks and checking of previous challans.

Thankfully had all my documents and no previous challans ( hadnt used my bike beyond a 1 km radius for the past 3 years anyway so was impossible to have one) and was let go without a fine, but only after wasting 15 mins of my precious time.
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Old 31st March 2021, 12:50   #5
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Random bitter experience - Took a U-turn at an unmarked signal in Koramangala and a cop pulled me over. It was night time, but he could see that it was a brand new bike. Asked me for an outrageous amount of 1500 bucks, even claiming to give me a "bill". I told him I didn't have that kind of money and that I was a student and parted with the sole 500 rupee note I had.
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Old 31st March 2021, 12:57   #6
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
Let me start off by calling out very clearly that the idea of this thread is not to promote illegal practices in any way.

What triggered the post was my recent experience...
...your sleeve, then do share!
Compelling points. But, with all due respect sir, most of the points you mentioned need to be adhered to, whether you want to avoid challans or not, but just from the point of being a disciplined, cause-no-harm-to-others citizen.

While I do find the speed limits ridiculous, I feel levying hefty fines is the way to go to enforce disciplined driving in the country. If the fine is 5000, even off the record settlement would come to 500, and that ought to keep people in line.

The troubling thing is that they fine us for speeding (with ridiculously low speed limits) on perfectly capable roads (with our ever-increasing traffic congestion, it is not possible to speed on normal city roads anyway), while people with drink and drive, wrong-side driving, middle-of-the-road parking get away without a fuss. This can be infuriating.

Recently, in Ahmedabad new speed limits were enforced, which are hilarious. I will let the numbers do the work:

8 Seater Vehicles: 70 kmph
Transport Vehicles: 60 kmph
2-wheelers: 60 kmph
Cabs: 50 kmph
Cars: 40 kmph
Attached Thumbnails
Ways to avoid traffic challans-screenshot-20210331-12.49.44-pm.png  

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Old 31st March 2021, 12:59   #7
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

I recently got an e-challan from the Delhi Traffic Police for improper parking. I had pulled by the side of the road to attend to a mobile call. It didn't take the cop long to take a snap of my car and send a 500 bucks e-challan!

Surprisingly there is no way to challenge this absurd challan by the traffic police. I have 60 days to pay the 500 bucks.
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Old 31st March 2021, 13:02   #8
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Avoiding speed cameras inside city limits is still the easy part. You can like or dislike the speed limits but if you stick to them, you are 99% fine and over a period of time, you would even remember the exact locations of speed cameras. Another simple rule to follow on unfamiliar roads is to see how the majority of traffic is driving, as most regulars on that stretch know the camera locations and if you find yourself overtaking everyone then most likely you are in for a surprise.

The bigger issue and the one that you cannot avoid is getting challaned for violating the stop line or jumping the red signal. Most big and medium junctions in Delhi are now covered with cameras. I promote safe driving. But as the OP said in the opening post, our roads and infrastructure are not similar to western countries. A green signal doesn't mean you can drive freely on our roads. There can be multiple obstacles in form of pedestrians, slow cycles/rickshaws, merging roads, badly planned bus stops right next to the signal and what not. So the traffic only crawls on a green signal. The yellow signal and the clock timers are a joke on most signals and do not work. The end result is that despite an effort to follow rules, I continue to find myself standing on the stop line or a little ahead and the signal decides to turn red, leaving me with 2 options. Either continue to drive and risk a challan for red light violation or stop and get challaned for stop-line violation.
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Old 31st March 2021, 13:06   #9
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
RadarBot app for speed camera alerts Now I am not related to this app in any way but I find it very useful. The app practically alerts you on presence of speed traps few hundred metres in advance. It is pretty accurate hitting the mark nearly 70-80% of times and this has been a game-changer for me.
Attachment 2138971
I haven't used RadarBot, but I find Waze to be immensely useful for locating fixed as well as mobile speed traps. Not many folks use the app in India, but its interactive interface allows users to mark multiple traffic hazards, as well as warn audibly when exceeding the prescribed speed limit of a particular stretch of road.
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Old 31st March 2021, 13:14   #10
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

2 more points I follow to avoid challan are:
  1. Forget about free left. Many places with divided left lane for left turns are not free. A new person may not know this. I always think left turn not to be free and stop. Only if there is a visible sign that says left turn is free, I take the left.

  2. When green is active only for 5 to 7 secs or less, and you are 100 metre or more from the stop line. Just slow down vehicle to stop instead of accelerating. Do NOT assume yellow light will save you. Just think that there is no yellow light. This can help in following two circumstances.
    1. When there is no yellow light.
    2. When someone in the end moment jumps in front of the vehicle and we end up in no man's land.

Last edited by J4J : 31st March 2021 at 13:16.
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Old 31st March 2021, 13:24   #11
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

The basics are simple and well in our control. If these are done, then obviously it takes away a large chance of getting penalized.
  • Have a valid license, PUC, Insurance and copy of the RC.
  • Wear your seat belt or helmet if two wheeler. Including for the pillion, even if you are going 500mts from your home.
  • Do not drink and drive
  • Do not jump signals and most importantly do not assume 'Free Left turns' . It is guaranteed that there will be a traffic patrol ready to pounce on you.
  • Don't try to race or drive dangerously
  • When you see an empty stretch/section on a generally crowded road, don't take off. There will be a speed gun at the end of it.
  • Latest one in Bangalore- It looks very inviting, but do not drive in the Bus Lane-You will be challaned.

Where it becomes ambiguous is with respect to parking and speed limits. Speed Limits are mostly not well marked, can be out dated and even impossible to follow. Same goes with parking as our parking infra is very poor and again roadside parking is not well defined. In my view these are the things that can cause harassment and we need to be doubly careful about.

I personally double and triple check when I am parking and if I know it is a risk, I don't take the car. Speed limits is still 'watch out for the signs and hope for the best'.

At least in Bangalore, you have a much higher chance of getting stopped in a two wheeler as opposed to a bike, but apart from that the above still holds.

Last edited by Rajeevraj : 31st March 2021 at 13:27.
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Old 31st March 2021, 15:27   #12
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Haven't figured out what to do about automated challans yet, however if I am ever stopped I choose to pay 200-500 (depending on the offense) immediately. The cops seem to greatly appreciate you not wasting their time by arguing back and forth and I find that they treat you better.

My bike has no number plate in front and a very tiny one tucked under the tail. This makes it near impossible for me to accrue fines and I have so far only paid 200 once for it when I was impatiently honking at a cop for stopping other vehicles at a junction and slowing down flow of traffic. I'm certain he would not have stopped me had I not honked at him.

Is this radar app based on any sensor based technology or does it depend on the user base physically marking points on the app? Also I have heard about number plates that become extremely reflective to the point where they cannot be distinguished when cameras try to capture an image. Is this doable?
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Old 31st March 2021, 15:50   #13
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Quote:
Originally Posted by saikarthik View Post
- Use google maps speed alerts.
Can you share how to enable this on google maps? I wasn't able to find the option despite news articles from 2019 mentioning it is available in India.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
I haven't used RadarBot, but I find Waze to be immensely useful for locating fixed as well as mobile speed traps.
RadarBot was the second app I tried, Waze was the first. Just loved the interface that Waze offers but unfortunately did not find the speed camera locations to be very accurate. Also it did not give me any audio alerts so I thought it was a distraction to continuously look at the phone while driving.
Am I missing something here? Do you find Waze to be accurate in Delhi?
I am thinking maybe I haven't setup something correctly if both of us being in the same city are having vastly different experiences.
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Old 31st March 2021, 15:59   #14
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Quote:
Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
I wasn't able to find the option despite news articles from 2019 mentioning it is available in India.
Speed Trap reporting feature was removed within 15 days of introduction, after various state Traffic Police, reported dip in revenue due to less speeding violation. This also illustrated that the feature was allowing people to drive more sensibly.

I often wonder about the purpose of speed limits in India? Is it there to generate the revenue for the state or to enforce safe road habits?
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Old 31st March 2021, 16:10   #15
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Default re: Ways to avoid traffic challans

Quote:
Originally Posted by hridaygandhi View Post
Recently, in Ahmedabad new speed limits were enforced, which are hilarious. I will let the numbers do the work:

8 Seater Vehicles: 70 kmph
Transport Vehicles: 60 kmph
2-wheelers: 60 kmph
Cabs: 50 kmph
Cars: 40 kmph
Even Bangalore has different limits for 2 and 4 wheelers but Ahmedabad is ridiculous! I wonder how the software in those speeding cameras will identify the vehicle category!

A significant reason for traffic bottlenecks on our roads is due to differences in the speeding capabilities of the vehicles. You can observe this next time you see a long line of cars stuck behind a slow moving lorry on the right lane. Such differences in speed also cause accidents during lane changes, turning etc as it becomes difficult to judge how far a vehicle will travel while we change lane. Now this kind of differential speed limits will actually make the problem worse if everyone adheres to it!
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