Hyderabad City has taken many remarkable initiatives for road safety and traffic management. Dr V Ravinder, JCP-Traffic, Hyderabad City Traffic Police tells Preeti Swaminathan his many plans to bring a method to the madness on the roads
Do tell us about some of the traffic technology initiatives adopted by the Hyderabad City Traffic Police.
Hyderabad Traffic City Police is going for total technology interventions. So, we have brought in, for the first time in the country, total non-contact and cashless challan system. In this system, we do not stop the driver for traffic violations. We only take photographs of the violator and the system automatically generates challans which are sent to their addresses. The violator can make payments through different payment gateways like eSeva, Mee Seva and through net banking. It is totally online.
The other thing that we brought in for the first time in Hyderabad are the body-worn cameras which have changed the behaviour of our staff and the drivers who used to get into arguments when they were probed for violations. We have been using it for the last one year in the City. The tool has brought transparency in the system, increased accountability, and reduced arguments & corruption.
“We brought in body-worn cameras for the first time in Hyderabad. They have changed the behaviour of our staff and the drivers who used to get into arguments when they were probed for violations. We have been using these for the last one year in the City. The tool has brought transparency in the system, increased accountability, and arguments & corruption.”
We will be launching Intelligent Traffic Management System very soon. Algorithms are developed to integrate into our existing signal system for signal timing optimisation. It helps in automatically adapting to the timings in various arms and the green or red light changes as per the traffic volumes.
Secondly, the system detects violations like red-light signal jumping, stop-line jumping and wrong-side driving. It also recognises number plates and automatically generates challans on violations.
The system helps in priority tracking, so ambulances & fire brigade are automatically identified and then green signal is given in the corridor. It also gives information to VMS boards or wherever there is a congestion, and automatically sends messages to VMS boards to take different alternate routes. It also helps drivers and commuters to take alternate routes during big events, like Ganesh processions, to reach their destinations.
Is something being done to improve behaviour on the roads?
We have begun penalty point system in Hyderabad city from August 1, 2017. Like in developed countries, the violators are not only fined or issued challans but points too get added against their names. Once 12 points get accrued against his/ her name, his/ her license gets suspended for one year. If after revocation for one year, he/she accrues 12 points again, it leads to suspension of their license.
We are also counselling people who get three or more penalty points. We educate them to stop violating the traffic rules, making them understand that once they reach the 12 point mark, their license will be cancelled.
“We have booked about 11250 cases, out of which, about 2000 people were sent to jail through courts for one day to twenty days and about 1000 people were awarded social service punishment like cleaning in hospitals, cleaning in bus stations, and cleaning in railway stations.”
The violators are also provided another facility. If they undergo training in defensive driving or in driving schools recognised by the government they will have a chance of reducing three penalty points. This facility is also mentioned in the rules. So it facilitates the people to ensure their licenses are not cancelled. The penalty points system has led to a tremendous improvement in the compliance of traffic rules. If the compliance level for wearing helmet was 30 to 40 percent earlier, it has risen to 70 to 80 percent after this system was introduced in August this year. Similarly, the wearing of seatbelt has also improved and people have begun following the rules by stopping at the stop lines. Overall, we see, people have become more disciplined on the road.
The existing signal system is totally controlled from traffic command control center. It has a VAC (Vehicle Actuated Control) mode. So, if the traffic is less in one arm, it waits for four seconds and the green signal then goes to the other arm where the traffic is more. We have ATS mode too where depending upon the volume of the traffic, it gets adjusted after every three cycles. We have a manual mode also, which means if there is much congestion because of some events then we go into manual mode and operate the signal system. So, this system has been working effectively for the last three years in Hyderabad, It has been helping in the regulation of traffic.