Sensors to be placed under six ‘most accident-prone’ roads

Active magnetic sensors buried 2.54 cm below the road surface and linked to overhead surveillance cameras will soon help the police identify motorists who violate the legal speed limit on six “most accident-prone” roads in the State.

Officials say the automated speed limit violation detection system, which encompasses two sensors and surveillance cameras, will be installed at an interval of 7 km along the Kovalam-Kottiyam (61 km), Venjaranmoodu-Chengannur (93 km), Sakthikulangara-Ambalapuzha (69 km), Alappuzha-Chengannur (24 km), Thrissur-Kuttippuram (60 km) and Palakkad-Malappuram (90 km) roads.

The sensors will be placed 1.2 m apart. The system will, in less than milliseconds, compute the relative speed of the vehicle by gauging the time it took to pass over the two sensors. (Vehicles moving over the inductive loop sensors will cause a magnetic interference, which the system will use for computing relative speed.)

If the vehicle exceeds 80 km per hour, the night vision-equipped overhead cameras will capture its rear number plate. They will capture the images of all the vehicles passing through the road and store the data for up to 30 days. Law enforcers at a centralised control room at the Police Training College here will monitor the system round-the-clock.

A police team headed by State Police Chief K.S. Balasubramanian; ADGP P. Chandrasekharan; and IG Manoj Abraham had analysed road accidents in Kerala since 2011 and found the six roads to be the “most accident prone”. For instance, 161 deaths were reported on an average every year on the Kovalam-Kottiyam road.

600 accidents each year

The figures for Venjaranmoodu-Chengannur, Sakthikulangara-Ambalappuzha, Alappuzha-Chengannur, Thrissur-Kuttippuram and Palakkad-Malappuram were 132, 161, 30, 74, and 86 respectively. More than 600 accidents were reported from the roads each year.

Officials say the second phase of the project will include the Kodungalloor-Irinjalakuda and Mannuthi-Valayar roads. They say the project is part of a three-phased “intelligent traffic and law enforcement system” that will cover all major roads and junctions in the State within three years. S.P. Gopakumar of the Communications Wing of Keltron is heading the project.

The scheme envisages more surveillance cameras to detect motorists, who jump traffic red lights and violate one-way and parking regulations. Surveillance cameras will also be installed at unmanned level crosses and will cover shopping districts, markets, railway stations, and bus stations in Kerala.

A senior official says the expansive State-wide security camera network will be a “force multiplier” and help the police optimise its manpower deployment.