Wednesday, June 23

To catch speed demons, Kolkata police set up new cameras on bad stretches

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A year after Kolkata traffic police issued the tenders, 20 new speed cameras have started functioning from this week. Commissioned in phases between Monday and Wednesday, the cameras will cover stretches that are now infamous for bike menace. Besides these specific roads, like Uday Shankar Sarani in Golf Green or the Lake Gardens flyover, cops have also chosen certain accident-prone stretches, like Patuli on EM Bypass and Basanti Highway — to install these cameras.

According to DC (traffic) Santosh Pandey, the cops have chosen the spots after careful deliberation and feedback. “We have ensured that the entire city is adequately covered,” he said.

“We have worked a lot to try and work on cutting down racing and dangerous driving. We have chosen stretches that have had a history of rash driving. Now that even Sukanta Setu and Golf Green have bene covered, we are hoping that we can control racing even on flyovers and in the bylanes. Depending on the response, more speed guns will be procured,” said an officer from the planning section of the traffic department.

The tender document mentions that these speed cameras will eventually be connected with automatic licence-plate readers. They are looking at an accuracy of 85% in reading a number plate during the day and 65% at night. ANPR is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates to create vehicle location data. This time, cops have other specifications — (I) they want the detection zone to be around 30 metre (II) the optical character recognition system should transfer the video to a server so that police can sent out e-challans (III) create alerts within nanoseconds to ascertain if a vehicle is a stolen one based on data fed to the system.

Ever since the cameras were activated on Maa flyover, AJC Bose flyover, Kidderpore Road, BT Road and parts of EM Bypass, they have recorded motorists clocking 130kmph-150kmph, especially past midnight. The speed limit set on the stretches is 50kmph-60kmph.

“The speed at which some have been driving is alarming. If a motorists collides with another car or the median divider or the railings, chances of survival for those inside the vehicle are negligible,” said a senior traffic officer at Lalbazar. Based on the readings, we have started imposing fines. Along with the readings, we also have photographs of cars at exact points of rule violation,” said an officer.


Source: Times of India

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