Wednesday September 21, 2011
No more excuses for errant motorists captured on high definition cameras
By P. ARUNA and AUSTIN CAMOENS
KUALA LUMPUR: The “it is not me” excuse will not work for motorists captured on the latest police cameras because the authorities have gone HD (high definition).
“The “LTI20-20 TruCAM” captures sharp images. It can show clearly the registration number of the vehicle.
“If taken from the right angle, even the driver and passenger in the vehicle can be seen clearly,” federal traffic deputy chief Asst Comm Mohd Fuad Abd Latiff told The Star at Bukit Aman here.
Tens of thousands of the 285,000 motorists found speeding within the last four months have been caught with the use of five newly-acquired HD cameras and the other 36 laser speed detectors.
“That shows an average of 2,375 motorists caught speeding each day,” ACP Mohd Fuad said, adding that the photographic evidence had caused the number of disputes against the summonses issued to reduce drastically.
“We are in the process of purchasing another 25 of the HD cameras.”
He added that the police intended to phase out the laser speed detectors.
“In the future, if there are other speed detectors that may prove better in performance, we will go for them as well,” said ACP Mohd Fuad.
It is learnt that each US-made LTI 20-20 TruCam costs about US$6,000 (RM17,000) and is capable of taking high resolution pictures of speeding vehicles from a maximum distance of 1.2km, and can clock speedsters travelling as fast as 320kmh.
A complete chain of video evidence is collected, along with a high resolution image that identifies vehicle make and model, licence plate number and facial characteristics of the driver.
The summonses are sent out to the owner of the vehicle within seven days, with the captured image attached as proof.
Meanwhile, a source from the enforcement division of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) said motorists should be warned that the department was keeping its eye on the road as well.
Like the police, JPJ enforcement officers were capturing traffic offences on high resolution cameras, with at least two digital cameras in each state.
“We obtain a lot of help from the public, who send in photos of other motorists caught committing offences, such as using the emergency lane or beating a traffic light,” the source said.
In just three weeks between Aug 14 and Sept 7, 2,970 motorists were caught on camera by JPJ officers, while 406 photos were sent in by the public within the first six months of the year.
Traffic offenders are first issued with a notice, requesting them to come in for an “interview” within two weeks, failing which a penalty of RM200 is imposed on the owner of the vehicle.
“If they still do not show up, we will take them to court,” said the source.
He added that the images taken using the digital cameras were of high quality and allowed them to zoom in on the registration plate of the vehicle even when taken from a distance.
The JPJ, unlike the traffic police, does not send out the photo to the motorist.
“Only if they dispute or deny that they have committed the offence do we show them the photo,” the source said.
Smile for the cop camera