The first working day of the week after police announced an initiative to suspend a driver’s licence for at least three months for speeding when the signal turns amber saw cops scanning CCTV footage and serving notices to a few violators.
A senior officer of the traffic wing said all 25 traffic guards under Kolkata police were mostly banking on footage captured by closed-circuit television (CCTV cameras to identify and prosecute drivers and two-wheeler riders, who instead of slowing down after the signal turned amber tended to pick up speed to cross the stop line.
“The rule is to slow down when the signal turns amber and stop when it turns red,” said an officer of the traffic police.
“However, many two-wheeler riders and drivers tend to pick up speed when the signal turns amber as they don't want to wait when the signal turns red. We don't want to stop a speeding vehicle as it may cause an accident.”
Another officer said errant drivers would be prosecuted under the Motor Vehicles Act and the case details forwarded to the authorities with a note that the licence be suspended for at least three months.
“We will send notices to the errant drivers asking them to appear for a hearing as their driving licences will be suspended," the officer said.
The notices - unlike other prosecutions like jumping a red signal or speeding, where the owner of the vehicle gets an SMS alert almost immediately - will be sent after a day, the officer said.
“There is an element of human intervention as our officers have to scan CCTV footage to verify whether a vehicle really speeded after the signal turned amber,” the officer said.
At the Gariahat intersection, at least five drivers were served notices. At the Ultadanga crossing, four drivers were served notices. One motorist was served a notice in Garia.
However, the tendency to speed up when the traffic light turns amber continues unabated in the city.
On Saturday evening, one man was killed and six others were injured after being hit by a speeding car that flouted the traffic signal at the Chingrighata intersection.
A senior officer of the Bidhannagar commissionerate said Chirotosh Roy, 52, who was at the wheel, pressed the accelerator the moment the signal turned amber. A cyclist, who had also started moving, was hit first by the hatchback before it knocked down the others.
The Telegraph drove around the city on Monday and saw many vehicles pick up speed and drive through intersections despite the traffic signal turning amber.
At the Chingrighata crossing, at least a dozen vehicles were spotted zipping across the stop line even when the signal was amber.
The situation was similar at the crossing of EM Bypass and Broadway, near the Salt Lake stadium.