For Bengaluru traffic cops, future is now

For Bengaluru traffic cops, future is now

About 90 per cent of all traffic violation cases in Bengaluru are generated automatically, with the help of cameras and computers

The city is getting about 350 new adaptive cameras in the next three months, adding to the police tech arsenal.

The traffic police are buying the high-tech cameras for about Rs 80 crore. Yelahanka, Malleswaram, Hebbal, Vijaynagar, Ulsoor, Indiranagar, K R Puram and Banaswadi will benefit from the initiative.

Adaptive cameras are smart cameras, and can do a lot that ordinary cameras can’t.

P Harishekaran, Additional Commissioner of Police, says the city now has three kinds of signals: manual, automatic and adaptive. The number of adaptive cameras now is 38, and will soon go up to 350, he told Metrolife.

“It is important to make the shift because these cameras are equipped to study the road and density of vehicles. They also have the capacity to measure the space occupied by a particular vehicle,” he says.

The cameras intelligently assess the flow of traffic and accordingly set the timing of the signals. The timings change according to the density of traffic.

Fewer offences

Police say the use of technology has helped them bring down the number of traffic offences in the last three years.

The total number of cases booked in 2016 was 90.99 L, and rose to 99.22 lakh in 2017. In 2018, the number dropped to 82.74 lakh.

Police say offences such as jumping signals, wrong parking, speeding, footpath parking, drunken driving, and reckless driving have come down. Cases relating to excess fare, use of shrill horns and window tints, and driving without licence have gone up.

The traffic police have now deployed about 1,000 cameras. A 100 red-light violation detection cameras capture and record signal jumping. “Bengaluru has 56 lakh two-wheelers, the highest for any city in India, and they are the worst culprits when it comes to breaking the rules. When a vehicle jumps a signal, this camera records the violation and sends it to the traffic management centre, which in turn, generates a challan and sends it to the offender. We also have about 30 to 40 Number Plate Regulation (NPR)cameras with the capacity to recognise number plates from among thousands of vehicles. They have the software to recognise and record repeat offenders,” explains Harishekaran.

Manual vs automated

About 90 per cent of all traffic cases are now generated with the help of automated cameras.

“Only 10 per cent of violations are booked manually,” he says. “The focus is on ensuring a seamless flow of traffic during peak hours.”

Harishekaran has directed his officers to man all major junctions during peak hours and ensure a smooth flow. Motorists are manually booked during this time.

The old hand-held Blackberry devices used by the traffic police have now given way to 250 field traffic violation report equipment.

A significant addition to the existing network of cameras is the Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) dome camera, he says. “This is a revolving camera that can be rotated 360 degrees. It collects real-time video and transmits the images to the traffic control centre through an IP network. We can operate these cameras sitting in the traffic control centre,” adds Harishekaran.   

Mind your speed

The police have 13 interceptors in the city. These devices identify the speed of vehicles. “The interceptor identifies speeding vehicles and immediately zooms in on the offender and records the details. A challan is generated and sent to the offender,” he says.

The city has many repeat offenders. “We are in the process of preparing a ‘Don’t care masters’ list.’ We believe continuous education and awareness will make a difference and bring about change,” he says.

Don’t drink and talk

Police use body-worn cameras during drunken driving checks and the device captures the footage and also records the conversation between the offender and the traffic personnel.

“Drunken driving checks are now evidence-based and foolproof. The offender cannot deny the charges when we book a case with adequate evidence,” says Harishekaran. We also have alcometer and straws in the equipment used for drunken driving checks, adds Harishekaran.   

Devices on duty

* Adaptive cameras to catch offenders and adjust signal timings in real-time.
* Interceptors to detect speeding vehicles and record details.
* Body-worn cameras to capture what drunken drivers say and do.
* Revolving cameras to send real-time data to Traffic Management Centre.