The traffic police public address (PA) announcement system installed at various traffic-light junctions across the tricity seems to have contributed more to noise pollution than creating awareness among people.
Locals say the pitch of the system, which is usually very high, is ignored by most people, and no one really pay heed to the instructions given by interactive voice response (IVR).
They say the IVR system announces the same instructions — like safety helmet is necessary; wear seat belt; and don’t use mobile phone while driving, etc. — constantly on a repetitive mode for about half an hour.
These IVR-based instructions can be heard at 20 different locations of the city including, Press Light Point (Sector 17 and 18), Housing Board, Transport Light Point, Aroma, Tribune Chowk, Picaddily, Kissan Bhawan, Municipal Corporation light point, Sector 17 and Sector 16-17 traffic light points.
However, police officials say the main aim of the initiative is to create awareness regarding traffic safety norms, and that announcements are aired in three shifts — from 9am to 10:30am; 1 to 2pm; and 6 to 8pm.
When asked, locals and parking lot staff at MC light point expressed the system continued to run throughout the day till midnight.
A traffic inspector, seeking anonymity, said considering the road safety week, these instructions were being aired for longer duration these days, adding that during usual days, they were played during peak hours only.
If there is any issue regarding the pitch of the IVR system, the electrical wing of the UT will look into it, he said.
Pertinent that these systems were installed under the CCTV camera project, which cost around Rs 4-5 crore, he said.
He also added that since it was a high-priority project of senior officials of the police department, he could not speak much about it.
Meanwhile, vehicle owners said nobody bothered to listen to these instructions and most of the time, passengers are either listening to music or talking to each other, while two-wheelers are wearing safety helmets, making it difficult for them hear the IVR. Cops should install the manual system for people’s convenience he said.
Sachin Mahajan, a city resident, said it’s a useless practice and no one cares about it. Kirti Thakur, a tourist, said, “People hear such instructions every day and there is no use of repeating them again and again.”
Meanwhile, senior superintendent of police (SSP), traffic, Maneesh Chaudhary, said, “More than 100 people lost their lives in road accidents in 2014. The IVR system has been installed to create awareness among residents, and to some extent, it has helped in educating people about these rules.”