Posted on April 09, 2015
Common traffic violations like use of mobile phones while driving, wrong overtaking and failure to fasten seat belts will now be captured in smart cameras with the Ministry of Interior launching a new and extensive surveillance system.
The project named “Talaa” aims to promote traffic safety by detecting all types of violations specified in the traffic law, the Ministry said yesterday. Smart cameras are being installed on roads and highways across the country that are monitored from a central control room. The project has been launched by the Central Operations Department of the National Command Center at the Ministry in collaboration with the General Directorate of Traffic and General Directorate of Information Systems (Security Systems Department).
The Traffic Department had earlier pinpointed the most common traffic violations as use of mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts and overtaking from right. The surveillance cameras on roads and intersections have so far been used to detect only two major violations —  speeding and jumping signals. The other violations were being monitored by traffic patrols deployed in select areas. “This (the new project) will contribute to tightening security control in all parts of the country, ease traffic movement and monitor traffic violations in time,” the ministry said in a statement.

The smart cameras will also detect speeding, low speed, jumping signals and other violations “that pose a threat to public safety,” explained the Director of Central Operations Department at National Command Center Col Sayeed Hasan Al Mazrou. The Traffic Department on several occasions had warned motorists against reducing speed on highways below the required levels, saying this can cause a major problem to other motorists and lead to traffic accidents. Like speeding, this has also been considered a violation of the law.
Al Mazrou said more than 23,000 violations were detected during a trial run of the project conducted last month. Most of them were due to mistakes of the drivers. He said all the cameras can be controlled from the operations room which monitors violations by zooming vehicles and capturing the numbers plates as well as the location. Owners of the vehicles will then be informed about the violations by text messages sent through Metrash to avoid any embarrassment while renewing road permits, said Al Mazrou.
Lt Col Hassan Mohamed Ghaith Al Kuwari, Assistant Director of Central Operations Department, said there are trained staff to use and operate these cameras. “This project will help reduce traffic jams and force the drivers to comply with traffic rules. It will also create a safe driving environment and provide the required data about traffic movement and areas witnessing traffic jams and accidents. The cameras will be visible for motorists,” he said. A total of 124 officers have been trained for the project who work in four shifts to ensure their availability round the clock, said the ministry.
source: Al Raya, The Peninsula