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Technology comes to the aid of traffic police

K. V. Subramanya

TECHNOLOGY HAS come in handy for the Bangalore traffic police in enforcing a critical provision of the Motor Vehicles Act.

According to the Act, the police can impose higher fines drivers committing repeated offences and subsequently recommend to the Transport Department to cancel the driving licence. However, neither the traffic police nor the department were able to do this in the absence of well-maintained data on vehicles and drivers.

By setting up an automated centre, the police have now computerised the data on vehicles, drivers, and those who have broken traffic rules. The entire data will be stored in simputers that will be provided to traffic police personnel. The police will then be able to identify those who commit offences repeatedly and levy higher fines on the spot.

"We are in the process of transferring the data from computers to simputers. Once the process is completed, we will start enforcing the provisions of the Act strictly," the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic-East), M. Abdulla Saleem, says.

In addition to stopping vehicles and imposing fines, the police are now videographing and noting down the registration numbers of the vehicles which violate the rules. Notices are sent from the data centre to the vehicle owners through post. When the drivers go to pay fines at the seven centres set up by the police, the driving licence numbers are recorded. This has helped the police to create a database of vehicles and drivers involved in offences. The police now have data on more than 1.5 lakh drivers who have violated traffic rules.

"When we find that a driver has committed offences repeatedly, we will levy higher fines. In case of subsequent violations, we will recommend to the Regional Transport Office to suspend or cancel the driving licence," a senior officer says.

The burden on traffic constables has been reduced as they can now note down the registration numbers of the vehicles and pass them on to the automated centre. However, there have been a few complaints. In some cases, those who had sold their vehicles were served notices by the police.

The affected people claim that though their vehicles had been transferred to the name of the purchaser, they were issued notices.

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