M. Raghuram

Vehicle Actuated Signal System will be in place by October-end

The system will facilitate faster movement of traffic BEL begins installing sensor lines at 48 locations

BANGALORE: The city, which is witnessing tremendous growth in vehicular traffic, is gearing up for a new type of traffic control system. The work includes surveillance and enforcement cameras mounted at different places, vehicle actuated signal systems, sensor-driven corridor synchronisation and a central control room for monitoring traffic movement.

In a chat with The Hindu here on Wednesday, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) K.C. Ramamurthy said the city’s traffic was not being handled effectively by the present system and that it needed a new system — the Vehicle Actuated Signal System (VASS). The system facilitates faster movement of traffic and every “time cycle” will be monitored as well as administered by a chain of sensor-driven signal posts.

The VASS has been designed by the public sector Bharat Electronics Ltd. (BEL) and will be highly proficient automatic traffic management system, claim sources in BEL. The density of vehicles is gauged by a sensor at a given time cycle and the signal is referred to the traffic signals posts.

Explaining the concept with an example, the sources said the system would be fed with different time cycles depending on the estimated volume of traffic. The police had conducted vehicle density sample survey of different places and had arrived at more or less the exact density of traffic in most of the city’s roads and traffic islands. The estimated “time cycles” were based on this study, Mr. Ramamurthy said.

The sensors would relate to the time cycle and regulate the traffic signals in tandem with the recorded vehicular density at a particular time.

Traffic density

The time cycle ranges from a minimum 10 seconds to 60 seconds. At a time when the traffic density was very low — say 1 a.m. — the sensors would use the 10 second cycle, which meant the red light period would be restricted to 10 seconds.

But at that particular time if the approaching traffic increased in volume for some reason, the sensor would increase the time cycle in the multiples of 10 seconds with a cut-off limit of a maximum of 60 seconds. At peak hours, the time cycle would begin with 60 seconds and depending on the density of traffic would multiply at multiples of 40 seconds.

The BEL had begun installing sensor lines at 48 different places in the city and by October-end the entire city would be covered under this system bringing all 167 traffic signals under the ambit of the VASS. This system was working at West of Chord Road, Sadashivanagar and at three places on the Inner Ring Road.

Mr. Ramamurthy said the traffic wing had acquired five enforcement cameras which would be mounted at various traffic points in the city. These cameras would help the police in identifying troublesome vehicles and those violating traffic rules. He said the photos and the video footage taken from the camera would become evidence in the court of law and would help the police in bringing down traffic offences.

Surveillance cameras

The department would also install surveillance cameras at 40 different traffic islands. It would help the police in managing the peak hour traffic and, in the case of major traffic blockages, to divert the traffic through different roads. The inputs of both classes of cameras would be recorded in the server at the traffic headquarters on Infantry Road. The camera systems would be installed at a cost of Rs. 3.33 crore and the VASS at a cost of Rs. 1.95 crore. The BEL would set up and maintain the system, Mr. Ramamurthy added.

Sources in the Transport Department said that approximately 1,500 new vehicles were being registered every day and things were going to worse when it came to traffic management.