Kathmandu, July 28
In the wake of growing incidents of traffic rule violations, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division has started deploying smart surveillance vans to maintain road discipline.
Kathmandu Sustainable Urban Transport Project had handed over two traffic police surveillance vehicles to MTPD on July 23 amid a function organised to mark fifth anniversary of Metro Traffic FM 95.6 MHz. According to MTPD, the interceptor vans are equipped with four roof mounted 360 degree fish-eye CCTV speed cameras and a breathalyser. The cameras can capture live video from a distance of up to 1.5 km. The smart vans will assist traffic cops in initiating evidence-based action against rule violators.
Apart from these hi-tech features, the surveillance van has eight cosy seats, a 32-inch LED screen, first-aid kits and portable road dividers. The state-of-the-art interceptor vehicles are mainly deployed to curb over-speeding and driving under influence, which are the major reasons for increasing road accidents and fatalities. As many as 182 persons were killed in road accidents in the Valley in the fiscal 2016-17 compared to 166 in the previous fiscal.
MTPD had booked as many as 639,611 vehicles for violating traffic rules in 2016-17 compared to 548,470 in 2015-16. Traffic rule violations documented every year is on the rise, which is partially blamed on the increase in the number of vehicles plying the Valley roads. On an average, 10,000 motorists are caught violating traffic rules every month.
Common forms of traffic rule violations are disregard for lane discipline and traffic signals, use of mobile phone while driving, parking vehicles in the no-parking zone, seat belt infraction, mechanical modification of bikes, overloading vehicles, drunken driving, overtaking from the left side of the road and violation of one-way traffic rule, among others. Violation of lane discipline tops the chart of offences and bikers are mostly ignorant about traffic rules.
The highest number of vehicles — 31,533 — faced legal action for violating lane discipline whereas 29,080 vehicles were fined for haphazard parking in 2016-17. A total of 28,896 drivers faced the music for drink driving as 9,663 vehicles were fined for honking unnecessarily.
A version of this article appears in print on July 28, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.