Imagine this: You are driving down a road and the signal turns red at the junction. You look around, with no traffic police constable in sight, you jump the signal and speed away. While you may think you have managed to get away after breaking the law, the traffic police have been watching.
To ensure that motorists who break the law are penalised, the Mumbai traffic police department plans to use enforcement cameras and send tickets to offenders.
The system is commonly followed in developed countries such as the US, UK and the UAE.
The decision to install traffic enforcement cameras comes in light of increase in vehicular density in the city, and shortage of personnel to man traffic.
As many as 400 new vehicles are registered in the city on a daily basis, said traffic police officers. The city’s traffic department has already written to the state government requesting the traffic monitoring system be upgraded.
“We have submitted a proposal to the state government for 500 enforcement cameras for the city. If passed, we will have a computerised traffic management system. We are also going to have the e-challan system started soon for better enforcement,” said Dr BK Upadhyay, Mumbai traffic police chief.
The cameras will be placed at important junctions and will be connected to the traffic police’s control room, where policemen will monitor every vehicle flouting traffic norms.
The police department is calling the cameras a necessity, as they will also help in detection of crimes. “These cameras will record the vehicles’ registration numbers and it will be easier to catch the owner,” said a senior officer.
Navi Mumbai already has the enforcement cameras in place and violators receive e-challans.
An officer from the Mumbai traffic police said, “Once the e-challan system starts, we will know the number of times a particular motorist has jumped the signal or been caught riding without a helmet or seat belt. At present, it gets difficult for constables to gauge if the motorist is a first-time or repeat offender.”