A boon to motorists caught on arterial roads

An SMS alert facility, which will provide updates about the traffic situation on arterial roads in the city, was launched on Friday by the Chennai City Traffic Police. The messages will help motorists to plan their routes and thereby save time and reduce fuel consumption.

The SMS alerts will be sent to those subscribing to the service and follows similar traffic awareness initiatives of the police through social networking site Facebook and FM radio stations.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Sanjay Arora, who inaugurated the new service at a function in the Police Commissionerate at Egmore, said SMS alerts on flow of vehicles, disruptions and route diversions due to accidents or road blocks only on arterial roads will be sent to the subscribers primarily during rush hour.

“The information on the traffic situation for the SMS alerts will be passed on from our control room. Vital information given by public to the traffic control will also be used,” he said.

According to Ravi Sundararajan, vice-president (marketing) of SMS GupShup, a Mumbai-based firm that has designed the SMS alert service for the traffic police, a similar service has been proven successful in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata, Pune, Bhopal and Nagpur. “Initially up to 20 text messages would be sent to the subscribers in Chennai daily. A traffic alert community through SMSes in which people can share traffic status in their respective areas could be formed after more subscriptions are received,” Mr. Sundararajan added. Those desirous of subscribing to the service should register by sending an SMS – JOIN CTP – to 092195 92195.

The SMS sent for registering would be charged and the alerts would be provided free of cost. Mobile phone users who have activated the ‘Do Not Disturb' (DND) option will not receive the alerts. The service can be deactivated by sending an SMS – LEAVE CTP – to the same number.

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