Beware of AI cameras

Beware of AI cameras

Beware of AI cameras.

Evading action for flouting traffic rules just got tougher. From April 20, as many as 726 cameras, including 675 powered by artificial intelligence (AI), will keep an eye out on Kerala’s state and national highways for traffic rule violations, including riding or driving without helmets or seatbelts, respectively, illegal parking and speeding and issue challans to the offenders. 

The cabinet on Wednesday gave administrative sanction to the Fully Automated Traffic Enforcement System (FATES), being implemented under Motor Vehicles Department’s (MVD) Safe Kerala project, which is expected to reduce the number of vehicle stops for inspections by enforcement officials.

The cabinet move also ended the uncertainty over the fate of the cameras, which were installed at a cost of Rs 232 crore last year but could not be commissioned due to technical and contractual issues.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the fully-automated system on April 20. Of the 726 cameras, 675 will exclusively be on the lookout for helmet-less two-wheeler riders, car drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts and those involved in hit-and-run cases. 

Data can be shared with police, excise 

Of the remaining 51 cameras, 25 will be used to check for illegal parking, 18 for people jumping traffic signals. Eight cameras, four of which will be mounted on MVD vehicles, will check for speeding. Control rooms will be established in all districts.

A coordination committee headed by the additional chief secretary will be formed to take a call on sharing the footage from the cameras and other data with enforcement agencies such as the police, excise and GST departments. Secretaries of the transport and GST departments, besides heads of the police, excise, MVD and GST departments will be the committee’s members. 

The Kerala Road Safety Authority funded the project which has been implemented by Keltron on the build-own-operate-transfer model. Keltron will be responsible for the maintenance of the cameras for five years. A Safe Kerala monitoring committee will also be constituted to ensure the equipment is maintained. The committee, headed by the additional transport commissioner and comprising two experts – the IT head of the Kerala State IT Mission and a computer science or IT lecturer from Sree Chitra Thirunal College of Engineering – will check whether cameras are functioning before making quarterly payments – 11.5 crore - to Keltron. 

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