Technology to replace cops at 50 junctions

From body cameras to automatic number plate recognition, cops want more technology

The City police are planning to man 50 busy traffic junctions without the intervention of traffic police. In other words, the cops want to manage these junctions with the help of technology.

According to Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) BR Ravikanthe Gowda, the 50 junctions included in this experiment have been identified, and the process will begin soon.

“There will be no human intervention at these junctions. We will have cameras for law enforcement. If anyone has been found to violate the traffic rules, the cameras will detect the number plates and upload the details to the server. Based on this, traffic violation challans will be served to the concerned violator,” Gowda said.

Gowda also said that 214 traffic signals will be synchronised. Many motorists get stuck at the subsequent traffic signals due to improper synchronisation.

“If you are travelling on the JC road from Minerva circle to Corporation, there are multiple signals on this one-way. There is hardly any synchronisation and motorists are forced to wait at every signal. We always wonder why the police can’t synchronise the signals on these roads so that we can save precious time as well as fuel,” said Shiva Kumar, a trader from JC road.

Gowda said, “Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has directed us to carry out this experiment. In fact, he had suggested the same when he was the Home Minister in BS Yediyurappa’s Cabinet. The process is now underway.”

The public continues to complain that despite the order of not stopping vehicles for document checking, a few of the cops continue to do so.

“We have a high-tech system in place where many of the junctions are fitted with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras. Hence, the cops on the ground have been told not to stop vehicles if there is no violation visible.

However, if there is any evidence gathered from these ANPR cameras, the police can stop the vehicles during non-peak hours. There is also provision for stopping theft or vehicles which have pending traffic fines,” Gowda explained.

However, if the cops have to stop such vehicles, they need to have evidence, he said, adding that they had been receiving complaints off late about traffic police stopping vehicles at Ulsoor.

“We sent a team to verify this and found that the cops were using ANPR cameras. Now, we have also distributed body cameras to the cops. This has drastically reduced allegations against them. These cameras have to be worn by cops during eight hours of their duty and the live recording mode is always on. Even the traffic cops need to download the footage once their duty is over. If the entire footage is not downloaded, then we can take action against such cops,” he said, claiming that body-worn cameras facilitated total transparency, being one of the people-friendly measures taken up by police so far.

However, Gowda said that there were no plans as of now by Bengaluru City police to take up the Mumbai model of cracking down against needless honking.

Crackdowns on under-age driving at PU colleges

Gowda also said that police will be visiting PU colleges to crack down on under-age driving.

He said that a driver’s license was not issued to anyone below the age of 18. However, many PU students under the legal age were found driving and bringing bikes to colleges. Hence, police will be visiting colleges to create awareness on the issue.

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