Tuesday , 10 December 2019

Technology for Mobile Traffic Enforcement

Traffic misbehaviour causes accidents and fatalities. The ultimate solution to the menace lies in road-user education. Surely but sadly, all efforts towards this culture change calls for a whole generation in anticipation. That is why Traffic Law enforcement, particularly technology driven Mobile Evidential Enforcement, gains importance as the best fit to our demographics.

While violations are being committed everywhere, a cent-per-cent coverage of ‘Everywhere Enforcement’ remains infeasible. Enforcement has been tried the world over at fixed locations. The result: reducing sophisticated and expensive investments into glorified speed breakers. The Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Expressway is a case in point where one would notice all vehicles slowing down around the ‘hot spots’ or ‘speed traps’. The short lived and limited functionality of expensive fixed cameras at certain stop lights in Delhi is another case in point.

The remedy is ‘Anywhere Enforcement’, i.e., enforcement at random locations. It is being facilitated with the deployment of a technology package, viz., Interceptor, in many places in India. An Interceptor is well suited to a developing country like ours as it helps in spot compounding, education and bypassing cumbersome judicial and recovery process.

The concept of the Interceptor dates back to 1995. Pioneered by the Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE) under the leadership of Dr Rohit Baluja, the contemporary Interceptor is the culmination of many years of research, development and deployment experience, and has undergone generations of technology upgrades.

Embracing the rapid convergence of varied technologies, especially in automobiles, digital imaging & electronics and telecom & global positioning, in the wider definition of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) the Interceptor is a purpose-configured integrated System (and not merely a set of Equipment) comprising an appropriate vehicle platform, enforcement equipment, accessories, comforts and conveniences. Most of these are specifically developed for on-board durability of man and machine, and tropicalised for performance on demanding Indian roads and highways under extreme weather conditions.

The functions of the Interceptor are to detect, display, document and archive the violation of an approaching/receding or stationary violator by a stationary enforcement platform well in advance and thereafter, intercept and complete the law administration. This is suited to most cities/towns/suburbs/highways; and in case of a moving violator by a moving/chasing enforcement platform, it is apt for Highways and modern Expressways.

The functions of the Interceptor are to detect, display, document and archive the violation of an approaching/receding or stationary violator by a stationary enforcement platform well in advance and thereafter intercept and complete the law administration. This is suited to most cities/towns/suburbs/highways; and in case of a moving violator by a moving/chasing enforcement platform, it is suited for Highways and modern Expressways.

Objectives

Apart from Enforcement, the Interceptor delivers added bonuses such as:

Evidence based day/night all-weather traffic law enforcement

This use of day/night all-weather Full Motion Video Enforcement guarantees accurate and reproducible dynamic evidence of errant driving behaviour or traffic or infrastructure situations. While eliminating legal disputes and doubts, traffic education is imparted and awareness is cultivated among road users. Evidence data in the form of Video/Image Overlay includes: Department Name, Speed Limit, Reference Speed, Target Speed, Target Distance, Laser Divergence, Target Reticule Date, Time, Record Number, Equipment ID and GPS location coordinates.

It also helps in road & infrastructure surveys and is a deterrent to errant road users. Also, it facilitates enforcement on a mobile platform, imparts traffic education and helps in primary first aid & rescue in road accident situations.

Functional components

Vehicle Platform: Interceptors have been built on assorted vehicle platforms, viz., Maruti Gypsy, Omni, Esteem & Versa, Toyota Qualis & Innova, Chevrolet Tavera, Mahindra Bolero & Scorpio, Tata Sumo, etc. Enforcement agencies can choose from a slew of suitable vehicles based on size, payload, performance, fuel type, turning radius, build quality, reliability and availability on DGS&D R.C. Importantly, the vehicle must be compliant with the current emission standards and safety norms to ensure crew safety.

Vehicle Customisation: The vehicle is the very foundation of the Interceptor. Hence, it calls for detailed and professional customisation to ensure optimum efficiency, accuracy, functionality, reliability and longevity to the sophisticated on-board equipment and systems. The modifications are done keeping on board power requirement and harsh Indian roads and extreme climates in mind. The sensitive equipment must be protected from the extremities like rain, humidity, heat, dust, bumps and vibrations. Besides, stable multi voltage electrical power supply must be ensured.

The major additions and alterations to the vehicle include specific Dashboard Mount for Laser Speed Video Enforcement System; Specific Mount for Secondary Roof Mount PTZ Camera; Specific Mount for Medium Format LCD/TFT Auxiliary Display; Auxiliary Power Generation, Storage and Conversion; Ergonomic Operation Consoles; Multi-Tone Siren cum Public Address System; High Intensity Rotary Roof Light Bar; Custom Paint, Livery and Reflective Graphics; Professional Switching & Controls; Wire Harness, Fuses and Fire Protection Measures and Spot Lamps.

Law enforcement equipment: The contemporary Interceptor is tailored to Indian conditions, requirements, crew competence and budgets. The primary equipment is based on invisible IR Laser Technology for multi-lane target. This is chosen over the Microwave Radar based systems which have been obsolete since they interfere with equipment in use by Defense and Aviation.

The contemporary Interceptor is tailored to Indian conditions, requirements, crew competence and budgets. The primary equipment is based on invisible IR Laser Technology for multi-lane target. This is chosen over the Microwave Radar based systems which have been obsolete long since they interfere with equipment in use by Defence and Aviation.

The highlight of the interceptor is professional day/night all-weather laser based speed video enforcement system such as LaserTrac 5736iG, day/night all weather Automobile Grade Secondary Roof Mount PTZ Camera, Monochrome Video Graphic Printer such as Sony UP-897MD, and Professional Breath Alcohol Analyser such as Alcovisor Mercury.

Many such Interceptors are deployed in more than 16 States and Union Territories of India. Their use is set to increase as being caught in a police video will act as a deterrent to road use violators more and more.

Sanjiv Taneja
(Sanjiv Taneja runs Integra Design. He has extensive experience in Product, Systems Design and Integration of System Traffic Interceptors and related road safety solutions. His latest system, LaserTrac Speed Video Evidence System, is designed specifically for Indian conditions).

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