Saturday, 21 May 2016

Traffic police to deploy new speed laser cameras at 44 hot spots

Warning: Better slow down at these hot spots
New speed cameras can take better images and capture video
By Danson Cheong, The Straits Times, 20 May 2016

Speed demons beware, the Traffic Police have a new gadget to nab those who break the speed limit.

Yesterday, the TP unveiled a new portable speed laser camera that will be deployed at 44 speeding hot spots, including West Coast Highway, Braddell Road and Changi Coast Road.

It is the first time the older cameras are being replaced since speeding enforcement operations began in 2004.

Manned by a single officer, the new camera can capture higher-resolution images, works better in low-light conditions and has a battery life of eight hours - double that of the older model.

It can also capture video, unlike the older model.

Officers will be stationed on overhead bridges or by the roadside.

Signs will be placed about 200m before the speed laser cameras.

"The intent is to let motorists be aware that they are entering an accident-prone area, so slow down and drive carefully," said TP deputy commander Devrajan Bala.

The new speed laser cameras will complement existing efforts to curb speeding with the TP's other cameras on the roads, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Devrajan said.

When asked why it took 12 years for the TP to replace the speed laser cameras, he said: "The technology has improved tremendously. We were looking for something that would be a game changer, in terms of camera capabilities.

"In the past, (cameras performance was) dependent on light conditions... The current ones are very reliable."

The number of accidents caused by speeding fell to 1,197 last year, from 1,363 in 2014.

But there were 8,021 injury accidents last year, up almost 3 per cent from 7,809 in 2014.

Fatal speeding accidents rose to 48 last year, from 43 in 2014.

In recent years, the TP have replaced their ageing film cameras with digital ones and deployed mobile speed cameras - autonomous devices that can be taken down and set up within a week - at speeding hot spots.

The mobile speed cameras, first launched earlier this year in Seletar Link, have been deployed at two more locations - Jurong Island Highway and Lim Chu Kang Road.

"The mobile speed cameras have been very effective; we see very good behaviour now... Our idea is to shape the motorist's behaviour," said TP commander Sam Tee.

Motorist Steve Keh, 41, who works in the maritime industry, said: "These will surely be effective and make people drive carefully."

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