Traffic police will use images from surveillance cameras to punish traffic violators, Nguyen Van Tuyen, Traffic Police Department Director, spoke to Cong An Nhan Dan (The People's Police).
Please tell us more about the use of modern technology to catch traffic violators.
In recent years, transport networks in our country have developed rapidly, including the Ho Chi Minh Highway and the Trung Luong Expressway - or the Cau Gie Express Way.
However, there are too few traffic police force to patrol the situation. This is one of the reasons we are using modern technology to help out.
In other developed nations, modern technology often replaces police in transport surveillance.
So how will IT be used to help improve transport safety?
In a pilot project, surveillance cameras have been installed on some key transport routes nationwide, such as the Ha Noi-Vinh National Highway, the Phap Van-Cau Gie Express Way and the Ho Chi Minh City-Can Tho Highway. We hope they will help us apprehend drivers who violate traffic laws.
The cameras should also help agencies to better perform their duties and to quickly handle emergency cases.
How have the results been?
Images captured by the cameras have been very useful in handling cases of traffic violations, including speeding, manoeuvring, using wrong lanes, illegally overtaking vehicles and running red lights.
For example, in central Thanh Hoa Province in the four months following the installation of the cameras, traffic police said more than 10,000 violations had been captured by the cameras. Most were for using the wrong lanes and speeding.
Based on the camera images, fine notices have been sent to more than 1,000 traffic violators, of whom 245 have already paid their fines. In four months, a total VND 2.4 billion in fines ($114,000) has been collected in the province.
When will the project be implemented nationwide?
The key objective of installing the cameras is to capture traffic violations and then send them back to control centres and police patrol cars to notify perpetrators - or stop them and fine them. With back-up from the cameras, law-breakers cannot deny their wrongdoings, no matter where they occurred.
The installation of cameras is important, yet we still need to develop a software data base to manage all transport. Once this is available, the work of traffic policy will be much easier and more accurate.
In other words, we need to invest in cameras and a database, but there are problems in developing the data base. We hope that a directive (18-CT/TW) by the Party Secretariat will soon lead to its establishment.
How can we solve the database problems?
Many mechanisms and policies have already been issued to simplify road registration procedures and costs for new and old transport. We hope that by late 2014, we'll have a high quality database in place. — VNS