Bhopal: Punjab Traffic Advisor Dr Navdeep Asija stressed on chalking out new strategies to protect and mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on police and public.
Covid -19 is drastically changing the road traffic enforcement and management landscape from traditional manual methods to contactless methods, said Asija , while making his presentation during an online webinar ‘Challenges before traffic police officers in post-Covid scenario’. The webinar, organised by the Central Academy of Police Bhopal saw participation from all across the country.
Asija further said that to achieve zero transmission, a systematic and strategic approach is required. Primarily, one approach is required to improve enforcement infrastructure, including back end reforms like emergency helpline, training and second is required to maintain social distancing while performing road traffic management duties.
Some of the suggestions include Digital Traffic Management Solutions. With help from the State Government and under Traffic Police modernisation, it is important to introduce digital solutions to reduce the burden of person specific methods of traffic enforcement and management, said the traffic advisor.
At district or city level, the existing traffic police control rooms should be upgraded with new traffic management centres (TMCs) for monitoring our highways and deploying real-time strategies, he opined.
These upgraded traffic control centres will help take decisions based upon analytics or artificial intelligence instead of traditional, manual understanding of police personnel on the site, said Asija. Further, CCTV cameras can detect helmet and seat belt violators with challans to be sent via digital way or using postal methods
Contactless Policing and Paperless Challan and Digital Payments: For all the compoundable and non-compoundable challan offences, online and on-spot digital payment methods should be introduced to promote safe cashless and contactless transactions along with E-Challan.
Establishment of Virtual Traffic Violation Courts: Virtual courts can be established with consent of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to deal with non-compoundable offences. These virtual courts can allow online payment for traffic violation challans.
Road Infrastructural Changes: A few simple traffic-calming measures and temporary walking infrastructure should be a part of every city’s early emergency response plan from here on.
Recalibration of Traffic Signals: The traffic signal timings are decided by the speed of walking and width of the road. To maintain a minimum 1.8m or 6 feet distance between each other, the pedestrians would need more time to cross the same road width.
Speed Management: There is a rise in the average speed of vehicles due to less road traffic during the lockdown. This will certainly increase the severity of road accidents and number of fatal road accidents. In coordination with the transport department, emergency speed restrictions in certain areas like already identified black spots or accident prone areas and specific road stretches should be imposed,
To put control over the Driving under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs Tests: It needs a different mechanism to be adopted for a roadside test of a drunken driving alternative to present one via breath analyser.
Road Safety Education: Along with the in-person classroom and lecture-based training, online training and awareness sessions may be developed and introduced further wherever possible.