Sunday, June 05, 2011

‘Big Brother’ is watching


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian motorists generally follow traffic rules only when they see policemen around but with the proposed Automated Enforcement System (AES), the enforcement officers will be watching, even if they are not on the scene.Hundreds of cameras will become the “eyes” of these policemen.

The system will transmit to a control centre photographs and videos of motorists committing traffic offences. The centre will then issue the summonses. The unmanned cameras will be located at 831 spots around the country.

Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said the proposed system would help the Government lower the number of deaths per 10,000 registered vehicles to two from 3.7 in 2007.

There are currently 17.971 million vehicles on the road.

Once the Cabinet gives its green light on the AES, the system could be set up in a month, although full implementation could take about two years, said a source.
“Realistically, after taking into account some government bureaucracy, it should take about four months for AES to issue its first summons,” the source said, adding that the AES was estimated to cost more than RM300mil.
JPJ and other agencies had conducted a demonstration of the system in 2007 at the Guthrie Corridor and Putrajaya. Solah told a media briefing that the AES was a “foolproof system” which used very high resolution cameras which were linked to sensors on the road.

Besides speeding, the system can detect offenders who beat the traffic lights, overtake on the left or across double lines, tailgate, drive on the emergency lane and even overload. Presently, the police use 140 laser digital cameras, which are portable and manually operated. “They cannot be used when it rains and they are not automatic. If three vehicles are speeding at the same time, the device can only snap one as the policeman has to aim the camera at the car.

“The AES can shoot (images) of all three, it can also take photos of motorcycles. The system can also differentiate between a commercial vehicle and a private vehicle,” he said. “We will put up signs. The AES is not to collect revenue (from summonses), but to make road users behave,” Solah said.


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