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Speed lens for bloodspill roads

Before Mahishasurmardini slays the demon king, the East Singhbhum district administration has pledged to rein in speed devils on Jamshedpur’s rogue roads.

Following a pointed directive from deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal, urban local body Jamshedpur Notified Area Committee (JNAC) is in the process of procuring five speed cameras, the expression of interest for which will be floated on Saturday.

The objective is to install the velocity monitors on accident-prone arterial stretches of the steel city and those roads where stunt biking by amateur thrill junkies is rampant, so that Durga Puja comes and goes without unnecessary bloodspill.

A senior traffic police officer explained how a speed camera was different and more sophisticated than a speed gun. “The speed gun or radar gun is a device used by law enforcement agencies to measure the speed of moving vehicles. It has a Doppler unit and may be hand-held, vehicle-mounted or static. It measures the speed of an object in whose direction it is pointed by detecting a change in frequency of the returned radar signal caused by the Doppler effect,” he said.

“On the other hand, a speed camera is an automatic gadget designed to photograph the front and back of a zooming vehicle. It can be used to enforce speed limits, catch red light violators and recognise registration number of vehicles used in crimes among other things,” he added.

According to JNAC special officer Dipak Sahay, procurement and installation of the speed cameras will be completed before the Puja begins in the last week of September.

“Five accident-prone areas will be covered and the prosecution authority will be the local traffic police. This will be the first time when cameras, designed to photograph the front and back registration plates of a speeding vehicle, will be installed on city roads to aid imposition of fines or arrests. The speed cameras will also help nail red light violators,” Sahay said.

DSP (traffic) Jagadish Prasad said that the photographed licence plate of a vehicle would be sent to the nearest traffic police outpost through satellite technology, thereby enabling quick action. “The image will be viewed and the officer at the outpost will relay the plate number and colour, and other identification features, to traffic police personnel on duty. A motorist can be fined Rs 1,000 for dangerous driving under the MVI Act. In the city, we have a speed limit of 35kmph,” Prasad added.

Statistics show that between 1997 and 2012, as many as 789 people died in road accidents in Jamshedpur. In 2012, the count was 189 and in 2013, there have been around 140 fatal accidents. In the first seven months of this year, the mishap toll has already crossed 60.

Some of the accident-prone zones are Old Court Road, the road near Jubilee Park and the Kadma-Sonari Link Road. The exact locations where speed cameras will be installed are yet to be identified.