Cops to get better laser 'eyes' to catch speed demons
By H Sheik Mydeen, Express News Service - CHENNAI
04th July 2012 08:36 AM
If you are one of those people who think it’s all right to speed at night as there are hardly any traffic police personnel with speed guns around, think again. According to sources, traffic police are looking to purchase better and faster Speed Laser Guns (SLGs) with integrated high-resolution cameras as the existing SLGs are not very useful at night. The Chennai City Traffic police (CCTP) have been using the SLGs at arterial roads to nab traffic violators and monitor anti-social elements in 18 sub-divisions across the city.
Policemen who use laser guns usually set the camera frequency to detect vehicles even at a distance of 50 metres. Stop line jumpers, signal violators, over speeders and rash drivers are the most booked offenders. If they flee from the police, they may be summoned later with a photo taken by the SLG.
“At present, the laser guns have in-built cameras and are able to catpture and record vehicle numbers, which are sent automatically to the server at the control room,” said an official at the traffic control room. “We can see the vehicles even when they are 100 metres away, and the guns can identify what speed the vehicle is travelling” he added. “However, they do not work very well at night, when they are required most,” he stated.
Even though it is a very useful gadget by day, it is a failure at night. In fact, even an Assistant Commissioner of Police admitted that they were not being used to take photographs at night, as the images were not clear and they were unable to make convictions based on it.
Though these cameras have very powerful 12 megapixel sensors, the lasers are confused by the extra-bright vehicle headlights. “Many history-sheeters and offenders are using this to their advantage and escape from the SLGs,” said another police official. In fact, not even vehicles with regular headlights are being detected by the year-old guns.
Consequently, CCTP is exploring the option of purchasing new SLGs with the ability to take high-resolution pictures after dark.
“We have made several complaints about the SLGs to our higher officials. A proposal for new SLGs with night cameras was tabled before them. Now they are looking for a provider of these gadgets from abroad and also in other states like Maharashtra and New Delhi,” said a high-ranking police official.
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