THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Motor Vehicle Department is all set to turn smart in an effort to become more people-friendly during vehicle checking. It has purchased 10 new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga cars to augment its fleet of interceptors and fitted them with a host of sophisticated equipment.
There will be one interceptor vehicle for every district. An interceptor vehicle is equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras to get the details of vehicle registration, speed radar to check the speed at 1.5 kilometers away, Alcometer to measure the alcohol content in a breath sample, Lux Meter for measuring brightness, Tin Meter to check the type of sun films used on glass windows and sound-level metre to measure decibel. The MVD has spent over Rs 2.6 crore for the equipment under the Safe Kerala project.
“The interceptors have been deployed for vehicle checking. But we will start using the equipments after a training session.” said Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) at Alappuzha, P R Sumesh. An Ernakulam-based company has recently fitted the equipment in interceptors. As many as 25 enforcement officers will get training on using the equipment.
“The advantage with ANPR system is that it can immediately detect if the vehicle was previous involved in traffic violations.” said Regional Transport Officer (Enforcement) at Thiruvananthapuram, K Bijumon. At present such violations are known only when the check reports are entered manually at the RTO offices. ANPR cameras installed on top of the interceptor can detect number plates at a range 500 meters.
The interceptor was first introduced in Thiruvananthapuram in 2007. According to Bijumon who was charge of the first interceptor said the equipment fitted in new interceptors were more sophisticated than the previous one.
He however said that the vehicle inspection could not completely rule out manual inspections. “The machines can be used for certain violations such as over speeding, use heavy sound and light or thick sun films. But we still need to stop vehicles to check if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or carrying required documents.” said Bijumon.