Traffic Police LED Boards to Alert Motorists! But How Far Will They Be Useful?
Mangaluru: After District Administration and Mangaluru City Traffic police had installed brand new signal lights, which within few days stopped working; then recently the traffic police had erected a bunch of traffic rules signboards, which have been ignored and abused by motorists, now they have come up with yet another idea by installing LED boards at a couple of prominent locations in the City, like one near Dr Ambedkar/Jyothi Circle, and another one near Nanthoor Junction, to alert motorists about traffic jam/snarls, and also awareness slogans on traffic safety and environment. But how far these LED boards with flashing messages will be helpful to motorists, while they are driving/riding fast is the question of the hour? And also we have seen in the past, once something breaks down/not working, it will be a long time before it is fixed or NOT fixed at ALL?
But anyways, City authorities have an illuminating answer to frustrating traffic snarls in this growing educational coastal hub, where medium size roadside LED boards that will display real-time updates about congestion ahead and suggest alternative routes have been installed at a couple of places in the City. Called variable messaging system (VMS), these boards are placed at certain locations near congestion-prone crossroads, on arterial streets, and before roads that record large traffic volumes, which defeat their primary purpose of reducing jams.
A couple of these displays were switched on two days, if these are found effective, the traffic police department plans on installing few more in the nearest future. With the bright flashing display on these LED boards, they will be hard to miss since they are in pretty good size. Text messages in red will alert commuters about congestion; those in green will suggest a jam-free detour that the motorists can take. But as per a police officer, the boards are installed in spots where congestion are least likely to happen even if a motorist slows down to read the overhead message. In case of normal traffic, the boards will say so.
“We have been putting traffic alerts for long on Twitter and Facebook. We are taking a step further to forewarn motorists. A team at the traffic police headquarters will feed updates to the displays through a 3G communication network. The MCC and the public works department have been asked to let the traffic police know about their constructions and repairs, or any new pothole that have sprung up on a particular stretch. At night, when the traffic volume shrinks, the boards will flash messages on road safety.” added the police officer.
It is learnt that VMS is part of the long-pending integrated traffic management system that has been pending for so many years. Though the Traffic police have come up with plans to install independent systems which can be integrated with the final system later, not much can be seen on the ground. But it looks like apart from all these few trials until nothing much has moves- and even if materialized nothing works either. Even though this new concept of LED board is one more appendage to beat a jam, but not a lasting solution to curb snarls which clog roads and bring traffic to a crawl.
Finally, I want to ask the person or persons behind this LED board idea to alert motorists on traffic rules and road jams, is that do they expect a driver or a rider to stop and read the messages on these LED boards, if not how are they going to read all the awareness messages etc that is displayed randomly. Not a “Smart Idea” for a “Smart City”? Period! The best thing for a City like Mangaluru, where motorists don’t give heed/damn for all these new systems, it is better to hire more police officers and constables who would control the traffic much better manually, than spending tax-payers money in lakhs/crores on all these new traffic lights, traffic signs and traffic LED boards. All these new systems are money making tactics by the authorities in the administration and police department. Don’t get me wrong?