Ever since the AI cameras were installed on Kerala roads, they have managed to stay in the news. While several incidents point out the problems in the system, all agree that this system has had a positive impact overall. Recently, Kerala State Transport Minister Antony Raju made a statement claiming that after the installation of AI cameras in Kerala, the number of accidents on the roads has come down. The minister said that the number of deaths due to road accidents has decreased by 50 percent. This is actually a great achievement for a system that was implemented only a few months ago.
The Minister told the media that last year in June, the number of deaths due to road accidents in Kerala was 344. This year, after installing the AI cameras, the number of deaths has come down to 140. The minister was talking about the decrease in accidents during an official function. He also mentioned that the AI cameras have helped in bringing down the number of violations. The Kerala Government decided to install Artificial Intelligence cameras on National and State Highways across the state as part of the Safe Kerala Project. The main aim of this project was to reduce the number of road accidents and violations. It looks like this new system is actually making a difference.
Most people are following the rules and speed limits as they are afraid of fines. As part of this project, a total of 726 AI cameras were installed across the state. High-resolution surveillance cameras have been placed in various parts of the state and on national highways. The government has invested around 232 crores in this project. However, there are a couple of controversies surrounding the implementation of this project. There have been several incidents where the camera has wrongfully issued a fine to a road user. These errors have been pointed out by media and road users.
In order to fix these issues, the government has now posted AMVIs in district control rooms to manually check the images before actually issuing a challan. The violations recorded by the cameras are sent to a main Data Centre located in Thiruvananthapuram. Sub-data centres have been established in every district. The Data Centre hub in Thiruvananthapuram receives data from all the districts. After receiving the data, the pictures are sorted, and depending on the location, they are forwarded to the respective areas. The camera automatically detects a specific number of violations and captures an image. It then sends the picture to the headquarters, which forwards it to the sub-data centre where the challan (citation) is issued. The cameras installed on the road can capture high-quality images, even at night.
As mentioned above, the main reason why we are seeing a drop in the number of violations, accidents, and deaths on the road is that people are concerned about the fines. Riding a two-wheeler without a helmet results in a fine of Rs. 500, while carrying three people on a two-wheeler incurs a fine of Rs. 1,000. Using a mobile phone while driving or riding incurs a fine of Rs. 2,000.