Bengaluru: Radar Speed Signboards will tell you how fast you’re going

Life in the fast lane on the airport road flyover just got a little slower. From Hebbal to be specific. In a bid to prevent accidents due to over speeding, the Bengaluru Traffic Police has installed Radar Speed Signboards (RSS) that will display the speed of vehicles, so that motorists can slow down and stay within speed limits. As a first instalment, RSS have been installed on either sides of the Hebbal-Yelahanka flyover stretch. Police say that the maximum permissible speed on this flyover stretch is 80 kmph for cars, though most of vehicles are found to be exceeding the speed limit.

Additional Commissioner of Police (traffic and security), R Hithendra said that the RSS have been installed on the Airport Road to begin with but will soon be set up at 50 junctions in the city including Bhadrappa layout, Tumkur road, NICE road stretches, Old Airport road and so on. A senior police officer said, “As of now, we may not be slapping fines for over speeding based on the RSS. But we shall create a database for three months, and later we shall decide on how to go about with the fines.”

Sensors which have been installed on the highway can track the approaching vehicle’s speed from 50 metres. Currently, only the speed of vehicles in the extreme right lane will be calculated by the RSS.

A police official said, “If you look at the instances of speeding vehicles, then probably the Devanahalli airport road comes first. Though we have two to three interceptors parked on the Airport road, we are unable to control drivers as they only reduce their speed when they’re near the interceptors. Currently, we have put up the RSS to help vehicles reduce their speed. We are also looking at other options too.”

For example, the Nehru Outer Ring Road in Hyderabad where the vehicles are fined if they cross the stretch at speeds beyond permissible limits (based on the vehicle’s entry and exit time) and the Tirumala model, where the RSS have been displayed at exit points to tell each vehicle how much time it took to cross the 18 km ghat road. Vehicles crossing the ghat road by over speeding are fined. We strongly believe that these kinds of methods are necessary to cut down accidents which are mostly due to over speeding. More than 1.35 lakh cases of over speeding were registered in Bengaluru alone in 2017.

Sources said that the traffic police also plan to put up RSS at every five to six kilometres before an accident-prone area.

TM Rajesh, a techie said, “I was pleasantly surprised to see the RSS on the Airport road. Though I didn’t know that they were merely warning machines, I had slowed down and even alerted my friends. They are now slowing down on the highway too.”

Nitya Reddy, a college student said, “Speeding is common on elevated highways as motorists believe that there is no one to book them. However, the police have been parking interceptors at lay bye areas on the Electronics city highway which acts as a deterrent to speeding vehicles. I am sure the RSS facility will also act as a deterrent for the speeding vehicles.”

Alarming statistics : Road accident is among the leading causes of death in India. According to WHO, human factor represents about 90% of road crashes caused globally, which includes speeding, and lack of concentration.

According to the BTP, since January this year, 3118 accidents have been reported from across the city, of which 444 were fatal. May was the worst month, with reports of 73 fatalities.

Till August 31, the highest number of accidents were reported from K.R. Puram (172), followed by Kamakshipalya (156), Peenya (153), Yelahanka (147) Whitefield (132).

Meanwhile, the maximum number of fatalities were in Yelahanka (30), followed by K.R Puram and Chikjala (28), Devanahalli (21) and airport (15).

In 2017, 5,064 accidents were reported in the city, of which 609 were fatal, the BTP said.