Kozhikode

Police, MVD yet to have efficient system to track vehicles in hit-and-run cases

Despite a specific directive from the Kerala State Human Rights Commission, the Police and the Motor Vehicles departments are yet to look into the possibilities of devising an efficient system that can effectively track vehicles and drivers involved in hit-and-run cases. With many road surveillance cameras out of order, the claim by the police and the MVD that offenders can be tracked using CCTV visuals is proving to be false.

The tendency of many drivers to escape from the spot after causing accidents is still rampant. Local drivers involved in such cases flee through unmonitored local roads and cover up their vehicles to evade legal action.

“The surveillance cameras can at least give us digital evidence. The court or the police will not trust our claims if we fail to submit supporting evidence. Those injured in accidents or have escaped unhurt may not be able to remember the vehicle number or other details to support the probe,” says a lawyer from the city who has dealt with several accident cases. In many cases, the formalities end with a general diary (GD) entry at the police station for claiming insurance benefits, without proceeding to the next stage to register a First Information Report, he adds.

Besides injuries, the damage caused to vehicles in hit-and-run cases is also overlooked in many cases in the name of insurance benefits. The police and the MVD officials have been accused of trying to end the probe with a GD entry without attempting to track the vehicle that caused the accident. The difficulty in gathering digital evidence is also a matter of concern for the affected persons.

Road Accident Action Forum (RAAF) functionaries say it is high time that the police and the MVD appointed a professional agency that can scientifically handle the road surveillance camera network across the State. According to them, many surveillance cameras are now just scarecrows without periodic maintenance or replacement.

“There should be some intervention on the part of the government to restructure the existing organisation of the Kerala Road Safety Authority to think of the real concerns of accident victims,” says RAAF president K.M. Abdu. No hit-and-run cases are likely to be tracked instantly without a professional monitoring system maintained and controlled by experts, he adds.

High-end cameras in city

Dismissing the allegations, officials attached to the City police claim that Kozhikode is the first city in Kerala to have high-end Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras for tracking suspicious vehicles. A dedicated control room is also functional in the city, which can constantly track camera feeds and support speedy enforcement action within city limits, they add.

However, complete coverage will be possible only with the expansion of the network to all locations with the support of local police stations, they say. Though efforts are on, it needs heavy investment and maintenance support, they add.

MVD officials say they are planning to step up monitoring in the sector using AI-based cameras. The Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation has been entrusted with the work to be completed in 45 locations in the first phase, they say.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 9:27:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/kozhikode-yet-to-have-efficient-system-to-track-vehicles-in-hit-and-run-cases/article37839710.ece

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