Kerala’s 726 state-of-the-art surveillance cameras starts functioning; Licence too becomes smart

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Thiruvananthapuram: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the operation of 726 state-of-the-art surveillance cameras on Thursday evening. The cameras can automatically detect traffic offences and have already been installed across the state and are functioning effectively. The cameras are said to be equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and can clearly identify law violations, even at night.

Unlike common CCTV cameras, these cameras provide clearer pictures, including the occupants inside the vehicle. They can also assist in the investigation of crimes. Additionally, the cameras can store images for up to five years, although the current decision is to store them for only one year.

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The footage from the cameras that detect violation first reaches the central control room in Thiruvananthapuram, from where the information is forwarded to the district control room. The notice will then be sent to the address of the vehicle owner, along with a message to the phone number provided when the vehicle was registered. Failure to pay the fine within 30 days of receiving the notice will result in double fine, to be paid in the court. Fines can be paid through Akshaya Kendras.

It is important to note that even if three members of the family, including children, are travelling on a two-wheeler, they will face a fine if caught on the AI camera. In cars, infants should sit in the back seat with adults or in baby seats.

Various traffic violations have different fine amounts, such as not wearing a seat belt or helmet (Rs 500), crossing a continuous white line (Rs 250), or driving above the speed limit (Rs 1,500 for cars). Two-wheelers carrying more than two persons will face a fine of Rs 2,000.

Furthermore, if a vehicle is caught without insurance, the first fine will be Rs 2,000, and subsequent violations will lead to a fine of Rs 4,000. Dangerous overtaking will also result in a fine of Rs 2,000 for the first violation, and repeated offences will be taken to court. Using a mobile phone while driving will result in a fine of Rs 2,000, which will increase to Rs 5,000 if repeated within three years (using a Bluetooth headset or ear pod is also illegal; hands-free in cars is also punishable). Crossing a yellow line, dangerous driving, lane traffic violation, will lead to a fine of Rs 2,000.

Along with the introduction of modern systems to detect traffic violations, the driving licence in the state will also switch to smart cards from today. Licences will be available as PETG cards with more than seven security features, including a serial number, UV emblem, guilloche pattern, micro text, hot stamped hologram, optical variable ink, and QR code, as per Ministry of Road Transport and Highways norms.

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