Now, an Android-based smartphone app will detect manipulations in speedometer

The Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) has tightened the noose around speeding drivers, especially that of heavy vehicles, by deploying an Android-based smartphone application to detect the manipulations in the speedometer resorted to hide the meddling with speed governors.

Some operators of private buses and other heavy vehicles tamper with the speedometer by manipulating its connection originating from the gear box. Once this is done, the speedometer will show only speeds within the permissible limit of 60 kmph as regulated by speed governors even if the vehicle is actually being driven at a much greater speed.

Till now, the only solution before the MVD was to verify the speed of vehicles detained on suspicion of tampering with speed governor and speedometer was to deploy its radar-mounted interceptor vehicle. But it involved logistical problems, as it called for deployment of an additional vehicle and more officers in addition to finding a vacant stretch where the interceptor can be parked and the vehicle detained can be driven from the opposite direction to gauge the speed.

To overcome this impediment, the MVD team in the district led by Deputy Transport Commissioner P.A. Sainudeen and Regional Transport Officer B.J. Antony decided to equip the smartphones of enforcement officials by downloading the GPS-enabled speedometer.

“This application enables us to assess the accurate speed of the vehicle with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 kmph irrespective of what the speedometer of the vehicle denotes. We always take the lower reading. Despite that, we have taken into custody four vehicles in a short span of over a week for going in speeds in excess of the permissible limit as per the speed governor. The latest incident was the private bus seized on Tuesday for reckless driving,” A. Naufal, Motor Vehicle Inspector, said.

The MVD advises commuters of public transport system to download the application on their smartphones so that they can report the matter to authorities if the bus they are travelling in is found to be moving at a speed in excess of 60 kmph.

On finding the smart phone application highly successful, the MVD is now about to purchase handheld GPS speedometers that would help them embark on an enforcement drive on a much larger scale. “The department plans to deploy officials in civilian dress with these devices. As soon as the bus crosses the speed limit, the official will alert enforcement units, which will promptly intercept the vehicle,” Mr. Naufal said.