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Parking for profit, and how we can help

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Traffic

Location, Whitefield. First photo may tell you nothing, whats wrong with parking on the edge of the road anyway. Second one tells you why I clicked it. Blatant, isn't it?

We see examples like this everyday. Some of us fools waste time taking pictures. And the rarest of rare, nut cases, take the trouble of sending these to Traffic Police to feel like doing 'their bit'.

What if there was some incentive for mailing these in? New York Police recently announced that they will admit amatuer video as evidence, just send them over via NYPD website. What if Bangalore police - lets start with trafic police - start ed something similar? Here are suggested rules of the game:

  • One photo isn't good enough. Must send at least three from three different angles.
  • Vehicle license plate must be visible from majority of the pics.
  • Above two apply to the video as well - license plate visible, must cover from various angles
  • Sender must be guaranteed anonymity. Police must 'broker' if sender needs to be contacted for more details.
  • Pictures must be emailed within a month of observation.

Now for the problems. How do you know for sure when was the picture/video taken? Is it legally possible to promise anonymity to the senders? And how would you know the precise location of the 'offence'?

How about an incentive for those who mail "successful" evidences like these? A certificate for waiving next 'light' traffic offence!? Or just some cash? Or a chance to have one idea accepted by the traffic police.

We can set something up here on this website with not much effort to collect these 'evidences', and even mail them to the police at regular intervals. But shall we?

Comments

rs's picture

Well, I have been taking

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Well, I have been taking photos with my cell phone camera in the hope that something can be done - but I dont really thing anything will do anything. Once I tried to reason with a guy who had blatantly parked his Scorpio on a narrow street opposite to some parked bikes and in front of a no parking sign clogging the road. There was plenty of legal parking about 20 mts away but this guy couldnt be bothered. When I reasoned with him saying 1. Dont you think traffic is bad in Bangalore 2. Isnt there a no parking sign here he said - the city should ban registration of new vehicles and that the sign, which was clearly a legal sign - was put up by the residents so wasnt valid. When I argued a little more he got angry and told me to mind my own business. I of course, took some photos to alleviate my frustration. I think what makes me very pessimistic is that there is no will of the people to make a change - especially in Bangalore. They have this Swalpa adjust madi attitude which is destroying the city. And there is this myth of Indian politeness and hospitality - but the reality is that we are incredibly selfish. People do whatever suits them and could not be bothered to think about anyone else. I dont think this is going to change very easily. The only hope is stringent application of the law - but I dont think we have the will for that. Bangalore Police are too busy shutting down music performances to bother about traffic offenders.
murali772's picture

mobile ad vehicles

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81 users have liked.
These mobile ad vehicles, if you have noticed, always take the busiest of routes and cruise at low speeds, contributing a bigger share than their size to the traffic congestion, since their very purpose is to gain highest visibility for the product advertised. I would like to recommend to the Commissioner to charge a prohibitive level of tax on such contraptions.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Bengloorappa's picture

Lets start it here

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I'd say lets start it right here! Lets make a seperate section which accepts pitcures of all sorts of violations (traffic/FAR, Byelaws/Illegal tree cutting etc etc) minus personal information and vehicle registration numbers.

In the next meeting with Mr Sood, we can show our Crime Database to him and see if he likes the idea and wants to do it himself.

narayan82's picture

authenticity

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I work a lot with Digital images. And to be honest, its scary how real digitally touched or created images can look. We need to find a fool proof method. I totally support the incentive based citizen policing. It is the only way the umpteen number of offences can be tracked. My only apprehension - It should not turn into a mode of income/dependency/making a quick buck. If we could come up with some sort of verification system, that can double check the user's picture with the location, it would be ideal.Or the survailence camera's by the police can compliment the photo sent by the citizen. If we have any digital experts, maybe they can advise us on how the police cn have a system to verify the authenticity of the image?
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
blrpraj's picture

here is a totally wild idea...gps does not lie

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1) Have a centralized database of the city roads in the form of GPS coordinates (gps coordinates sampled at appropriate intervals).

2) Let's say a street has no parking, the database will have entries in the form of coordinates indicating the  no parking.

3) Let's say a car is parked in the no parking zone. The car should be equipped with an RFID number plate and some mechanism where a device pointed at it from close range can extract data like vin number, license plate number, speed, direction the car is pointed etc.

4) Authorized citizen or the police...when they spot the parked car...all they need to do is point the device at the car to gather all the information and relay it to the central system which uses it's database to interpret that the car is in a no parking zone.

5) To make it more effective along with the above data a timestamped photo/video can be transmitted.

Expensive and ambitious idea? Yes, but think of the advantages ->

1) scalabale for moving violations like speeding, violating a one way street etc. by just adding more rules in the centralized system.

2) automated collection of data that can be a goldmine for tracking repeat offenders, used as a reporting tool for authorities to understand the pattern of traffic violations to take corrective actions(corrective actions could be improving signage, more police personnel etc.)

One thing we need to keep in mind is that any long term solution requires some investment. I am sure that with mass production and judicious use of tax money some such system may be possible since quite a lot of this technology exists and what remains is integration, adaptation for this use & proper execution.

narayan82's picture

blrpraj......I guess if we

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blrpraj......I guess if we had the motivation, time and money we wouldn't have a problem executing such as project! Technologo can easily assist us in such cases. However, it is proven that any technical gizmo can be broken apart/hacked into by the champs in national market. But this citizen incentive scheme, adds something else that no technical apparatus can do - Incentive and Satisfaction! It is also least effort on everyones part to solve the problem. I guess this is where technology can help us authenticate all claims. I am sure GPS based camera phones can take a picture to authenticate the location. This would help. But then how many user of such phones are they? But with the growing market this maybe reality soon.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
blrpraj's picture

gps authenticated and on the spot transmission

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I agree, I guess we are looking at a simplistic solution where an image can be taken which then would be transmitted in a tamper proof manner along with GPS data to law enforcement. I think this may be possible provided it is a one step process as far as the end user is concerned to prevent any tampering of the image. Something like I set the cellphone to a particular mode when capturing a traffic violation image; then clicking the button should trigger this ->

1) Software captures the image,

2) captures additional data like GPS coordinates plus timestamp and perhaps some other data (the device number of the cell phone perhaps?)

3) encrypts the image & the additional data using  some encryption algorithm

4) transmits the encrypted data.

5) deletes the image.

All these need to happen in sequence at one shot without intevention from the user to ensure integrity of the image. 

idontspam's picture

At the very least...

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.. the photographs can be used as an awareness tool to alert both public and police to encroachments in certain areas especially permenant ones. In case of moving traffic violations even if the offender is not caught on the basis of the evidence a watchful eye can be kept by the authorities themselves on the spot for further violations especially if it happens repeatedly at a particular spot.

So it could become an enabler for better policing even if it cannot be relied on legally in some cases. We may be able to add value to the photographs with our suggestions on how to tackle it which may also be helpful (I think we have been doing this already)

sanchitnis's picture

Using satellite imagery for traffic violations

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Time is not far away when traffic police can use satellite imagesalong with GPS (anyway the tree cover in Bangalore is reducing :-( ) for catching traffic violations. May be there will be a rule in future to paint number plates on top of vehicles also!

From Wikipedia:

GeoEye-1 satellite is scheduled for launch Aug. 22, 2008. The GeoEye-1 satellite will have the highest resolution of any commercial imaging system and be able to collect images with a ground resolution of 0.41-meters or 16 inches in the panchromatic or black and white mode.

Sanjay

 
narayan82's picture

Traffic Wardens,

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I had proposed this idea earlier. Maybe, instead of enabling every citizen with the facility to report an offence (with picture) -we can instead create a new job profile for the same. Each ward can have 5 -6 Wardens. They can be trained to use a Digital Camera, with maybe a GPS embedded instrument.Now thier job would be to walk/cycle the streets in within the ward and simply capture the offendors on camera. No need to confront or fine people on the spot. At the end of the day, the images can be downloaded to a computer and processed. Lets consider the Salary of one of these wardens is Rs.6000 + benefits. At an average he can get atleast 10-15 images a day (on the lower end.) If the average fine is Rs 150/- this would mean he would rake in Rs 1500 - 2500/day. Which is Rs.55,000 per month? So the govt after paying the persons salary has Rs 49,000 remaining for the setting up cost and running costs. I have seen such warderns in other countries and it seems to a working idea there.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
rs's picture

Wardens...

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Of course it would be wonderful if this actually works. But the more effective it is - that is, the more people stop violating the law - the less money is made. But before it can be implemented it is also important that the Police put proper signs and provide - with some thought - options for parking. The way things stand the reason why things are chaotic is that its never really clear what is allowed as the signs are bad and arbitrary - quite often placed without any thought.

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