Long delay for gizmos to catch speeding drivers

Traffic police to issue fresh tenders for cameras, radars

The initiative of Delhi traffic police to reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents, especially during the night, by introducing technological innovations, seems a distant dream.

While the intelligent traffic system (ITS) has been in limbo for quite some time, the traffic police, around a year ago, decided to introduce speed interceptors — that could work even during night — and install  speed cameras over the last one year for penalising motorists violating speed limits.

The department issued tenders for the project a few months ago. However, the project is all set to get delayed as the department has failed to find successful bidders.

“During technical evaluation of the bidders, the companies could not meet the specifications required for the project. Now fresh tenders would be issued for procurement of interceptors and speed cameras,” said special commissioner of police (traffic), Sudhir Yadav.

The maximum number of fatal accidents happen during night when there is lesser police presence on the city roads. One of the primary reasons for the fatal accidents is overspeeding. The traffic department then proposed to introduce at least 12 speed radars or interceptors that can guage vehicular speed even during night.

The interceptors are mounted on vehicles that could be parked at vulnerable roads and traffic intersections on different days. The department already has 10 speed interceptors, but these cannot be used after dusk as they are not night-vision enabled. During its annual press conference in January, traffic cops had said that they would procure speed interceptors soon.

Sources in traffic police said the department is now also thinking of roping in public sector company Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) for procuring the
highend gadgets.

“A foreign company has approached traffic police with their gadgets. However, if the private firms fail to meet the specifications this time, the department could even explore the option of roping in ECIL,” said a traffic police officer.

Last year, police had also installed speed cameras on an experimental basis on an open stretch between the new tunnel road near the turning that leads to southwest Delhi’s Dwarka sub-city and Indira Gandhi International Airport. It was revealed that more than 600 vehicles had violated the speed limit within just four hours.

Speed violators are usually booked under section 112/183 of the Motor Vehicles Act, which invites a fine of Rs 400. However, dangerous driving is booked under 112/184 of the MV Act, which invites a court challan and courts can sentence an offender to jail, on a case to case basis.

While the maximum speed limit in the city for private vehicles is 70 kmph, most stretches have a speed limit of 60 kmph or 50 kmph for private vehicles. Traffic experts say speed management is an important area of traffic policing because evidence clearly shows that reducing travel speed decreases both the numbers and the severity of road accidents.

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