Bangalore Traffic Police loves technology, and for good reason, because tech helps them 1) reduce corruption and 2) get more enforcement done from their small troop of 2000 cops. Here is another tech solution for them to take their camera based enforcement to the extreme.
As on date, Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP) mounts cameras on many traffic lights, and uses media (pic, video) from these cameras to issue signal violation tickets to motorists. This concept can be taken forward using hat mounted mobile cameras and 3G data connection. Here are the details:
- Traffic cops wear special hats (or belts, or shoulder vests - basically a "wearable" thing) that have camera mounted on them. There would also be a simple button, either on the hat, or gesture based (virtual button - shake your head to press it), or wireless button on cops hand to activate the camera
- Camera points in the direction of the cop's eyesight. Pressing the activate button makes the camera take a picture (or series of 10 pictures, or a short video, matter of design)
- Immediately after taking the picture (or video), the media is uploaded to a centralized location.
- At this centralized location, operators (would be cops themselves) would see the media (pic or video), spot the violations in them, and issue tickets.
- Tickets are then sent to the violators via mail (like it happens today)
That is it. This way, the cop at the spot gets to increase productivity (can spot 2-3 violations a minute around any junction for sure when on the hunt), and since the ticket is issued at a remote location, and picture/video always uploaded directly, without any mediation from the cop, chances of harassment (on the spot haggling with violator) are minimal.
Last time we looked at traffic ticket stats, tickets per cop per day was a paltry 10 or 12 if I recall right. With "wearable computing" or "mobile eye" technology based approach, that could easily go as high as 30-40 a day.
The tech isn't that expensive. Any smart phone with decent camera and single-day long battery life would do. Special orders in bulk (by few city's traffic police pooling in) could get some companies to make special purpose devices. Data connection (for instant upload) would be via 3G, which is already available in and around the city. And traffic police already knows how to spot violations in pictures and videos. they would just have scale at the back end (their Traffic Management Center or TMC).
Any glitches? There are some. 1) If using cheaper mobile phone type cameras, nights would be a problem. 2) Will be tough to get good pictures of speeding vehicles, again a camera quality issue. And 3) last, we know that Traffic Police / RTO databases keep outdated or wrong addresses (many ticket doesn't reach the motorist). We hear that they are working to address this.