Bangladesh Police are taking steps to introduce automated surveillance systems to regulate traffic. Cameras will help assess the volume of traffic and issue signals accordingly.
According to officials based in the police headquarters, the e-prosecution system based on point-of-sale (POS) devices has already proven effective. The automated surveillance is also expected to help combat the traffic gridlock in Dhaka.
Bangladesh Police Additional Deputy Inspector General (Development) Gazi Mojammel Haq said: “Dhaka’s two main problems are crime and traffic jam. We are going to install long-vision 360-degree cameras which will provide real-time updates to the monitors at the control rooms.
“But our biggest concern now is the violation of traffic rules. These cameras will help immediately identify and track cars in violation of the law. For example, if a car flees after an accident we will look for the car with its number plate.
“The surveillance system will alert us if the number plate is sighted by any of the cameras. When the car will go through a road within Dhaka city, its number plate will be identified. By this we can know the specific location of the car. As a result, we will be able to capture the car.”
Gazi Mojammel Haq is currently in charge of the development of Dhaka City Digital Monitoring System project. He said that every vehicle must stop and stay within the margin right after the red light is visible in the signal and added: “After installing these cameras, any cars violating the traffic law will be photographed and documented. Cases will be filed automatically. We are communicating with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority in this regard to access their database and directly send case documents to the owners of the cars in violation of the law.
“There will be no need for traffic sergeants to manually file cases after this. We are installing a number of systems at checkpoints to identify the cars with infractions.”
DIG Mojammel also mentioned that the third utility of these cameras will be to determine how long each traffic signal should last.
He said: “We have cars moving on one side for 20 minutes, but cars on the other side are waiting. It is a very difficult thing to manually control. Currently, we cannot see from a traffic signal how many cars are waiting.
“The long-vision cameras will give us further depth of vision, and it will determine for how long each signal should last to make it the most effective traffic signal system. It will ascertain how many cars will have to be allowed to move in order to clear up the gridlock. The entire automated system will be logically determining these things.”
He also said that surveillance systems are given a lot of importance in modern cities. Bangladesh Police have been trying to introduce these technologies for years. He also said training centres will be opened soon to sustain these modern traffic controlling mechanisms.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner (Media) Masudur Rahman praised the e-prosecution system and said: “Earlier, traffic sergeants used to file a case manually using receipts. Now POS machines are used to file cases. In the past, people were issued notices to come to traffic offices on a specific date. Then a person had to come from afar to pay their fines.
“As a result, people suffered. A lot of time was wasted. For example, coming from Uttara to Motijheel used to consume a lot of time and money. This is where the POS devices have been introduced and been a great hit. We have provided POS devices to the sergeants instead of receipt books. After filing a case, a digital slip is given to the driver immediately.
“People can pay their fines using credit cards or mobile phones or banks. We want to create several options so people can pay immediately and receive their documents. Police and people both are benefitting from this.”
DC Masudur also said: “The POS devices also helps us verify a car’s registration number, chassis number, engine number, tax token, route permit, and information of other cases. Police have been communicating with the BRTA to access their database and make the most of the technology.”
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune