The BMTC will introduce cameras on some of its buses to catch private vehicles using bus priority lanes, as well as to record traffic violations, the corporation has announced.
BMTC PRO Deepak N. informed The Observer that 40-50 buses, both AC and non-AC, will use such cameras.
Unlike cameras which record the scene inside, the new cameras will capture what is happening outside the vehicles. The photographs will be uploaded to the cloud to enable the traffic police to take action against the violators of traffic rules. The cameras will also enable proper use of the bus priority lanes and prevent private vehicles from using them.”
However, not all Bengalureans agree with the new initiative.
Rahul, who regularly travels from the Shantinagar depot, informed The Observer: “I don’t think it will be of any use. People who want to flout the rules will do so. The poor condition of roads is leading them to do so in the first place. Even if cameras record violations, how will they trace the person who flouted traffic rules? The cameras may capture number plates only in some instances.
“Even for regular traffic violations, police take bribes and let people off. So how will it work in this case?” he added.
Puttaraj, a BMTC bus driver, said “It will be good to have these cameras, which will record traffic violations. They will help us in courts when inaccurate complaints are filed against us. But I don’t think the BMTC will do anything when we file complaints. They only hear complaints from private owners.”
Suhel, a migrant from Mumbai, supports the BMTC proposal.
“It will be good to have cameras that will record traffic violations by other vehicles. We have these in Mumbai, and are very effective. The buses have cameras there are able to capture vehicles that don’t stop at signals. Public transport must keep up with the emerging technology to give citizens the best facilities.”
There have been complaints about the existing cameras as well.
Rahul said he doesn’t find cameras inside buses. “That’s why I think this scheme will not be that effective. If they are able to install the new cameras, they may achieve their purpose to some extent.”
According to a report in the Deccan Chronicle, a BMTC reply to a Right to Information Act application said only 500 buses were fitted with CCTV cameras in 2014 at a cost of Rs 3.4 crore. The cameras cannot live-stream videos, and the footage can be stored only for two weeks.