Message signs come handy to manage traffic

Cops use new gadget to signal motorists on road

While Delhi Traffic Police’s ambitious Intelligent Traffic System  continues to remain a distant dream, the department has now started using Variable Message Signs during the night at arterial roads to manage traffic in a better way as well as incorporate sense of discipline amongst road users.

VMS are text and graphical messages - displayed on large electronic screens (LED) - providing information to road users about the traffic situation on real time basis. Depending on the traffic situation, the VMS displays information that relate directly to real time traffic conditions like breakdown of vehicle, any repair work being done and speed limits among others.

The messages could range from simple one or two line text signs to fully variable signs like graphical displays.

“The VMS are mounted on vehicles that are parked on the road sides. Information on the LED is updated as per the traffic situation. The motorists could see the message being displayed from a distance and follow the instructions accordingly,” said additional commissioner of police (traffic), Anil Shukla. 

While VMS has been in use in European countries for decades, the Delhi Traffic Police are using the gadgets for the first time, which presently are 15 in number.

The roads on which the VMS is currently being used include Mathura Road, Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road, DND, national highways and border roads.

VMS is currently being used between 8 to 10 pm – when the evening and late evening traffic is at its peak. On some roads, they are being used till 12.30 am.

“On national highways and border roads, the vehicles with VMS are parked till 12.30 because these roads see a sudden influx of commercial vehicles after 10 pm when ‘no entry’ is lifted,” said a senior traffic police officer.

Cops said VMS is also helpful in incorporating a sense of discipline in road users as they realise that traffic police are stationed ahead.

The instrument is also likely to be useful in the context that the SMS alert service of traffic police informing motorists about the traffic situation is out of service for last 6-7 months.

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