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Body cameras, speed guns to help traffic cops work faster, smarter
After launching cashless penalty system a year ago, the traffic police plans to step it up with contactless enforcement across the city.
For the past one week, the city traffic police have been booking violators at every corner of the city by roping in extra numbers from the Armed Reserve wing after the Madras High Court criticised them for not enforcing the helmet rule on pillion riders.
While the crackdown on motorists for violating traffic rules has resulted in added revenue to the department, the department’s recent move to introduce contactless enforcement is aimed to ensure that rule-breaking motorists are penalised and the revenue continues to flow in without having the officers break into a sweat.
After several allegations of traffic police receiving bribe from offenders, cashless fine system was introduced in Chennai a year ago. Now, the contactless enforcement is considered as the next step up for the traffic police.
As part of the initiative, city traffic police plans to install automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras on arterial roads across the city.
City traffic police additional commissioner A Arun told DT Next that a study is under way to find out suitable spots install ANPR cameras in arterial roads such as Kamarajar Salai and Anna Salai. “Once these cameras are installed, the need for traffic police to intercept vehicles for violation and book them will reduce drastically,” he said.
Officers to get GPS-enabled speed radar guns with cameras
The city traffic police are also to get 13 upgraded speed radar guns, three specifically for East Coast Road, to book vehicles for speeding. While the speed radar guns already in use can only record the speed of the vehicles and read the number plates, the new ones will also click photos of the vehicles which will be attached to the challan. “This will make sure that the offenders do not escape claiming that they have been booked falsely,” said the Additional Commissioner.
The speed radar guns will be GPS enabled and the spot where the offence was committed will also be mentioned in the challan.
Order placed for 200 breath analysers with cameras
Another major problem that traffic police face is the confrontation with the public when they are intercepted for violations. While a few body-worn cameras were given to traffic police officers to record the incidents in case of a confrontation, officers have decided to increase the scale of it and have placed orders for about 200 cameras which is expected to be delivered in a week or two.
“All the traffic enforcement inspectors will be given the cameras and they should keep them on throughout the duty hours. The cameras will have necessary storage space and battery life and the data will be automatically downloaded when they are linked to the docket for charging. The footage will be saved date-wise and since each camera is exclusively given for an enforcement officer, it is easy to check in case of complaints from the public,” said the Additional Commissioner.
The officers are also set to get new breath analysers with built-in cameras which can be switched on when checking on a motorist for drunk driving. Photograph of the motorists will be taken by this camera if they are found driving drunk. “This way, when these motorists appear in court for drunk driving, they cannot lie that they were not at the spot or that they were not drunk,” said a senior official. These new breath analysers will also be GPS enabled.
Traffic Additional Commissioner A Arun, said, “All this is aimed at improving the efficiency of policing and reduce corruption and confrontation with the public.” “The cashless fine system introduced a year ago has been a major success and now, all the traffic police personnel have been given upgraded e-challan machines with in-built Point of Sale (PoS) machines with which they can also take photos and enable live streaming for higher officials to witness confrontations in real time,” he added. Arun also said that they could not implement these measure earlier because of the high price of the devices. “But now, the technology is available at cheaper rates and we are making the best of it,” he added.