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Centre proposes ‘body wearable cameras’ for traffic police & transport dept officials to check corruption on roads

NEW DELHI: In a move to keep a check on corruption on the roads by traffic police and transport department personnel, the road transport ministry has proposed “body wearable cameras shall be explicitly used” while managing the traffic or carrying out any enforcement drive.

The draft rules under the amended Motor Vehicle Act published on Thursday has also proposed that “digital enforcement” must be the default mode across all million-plus cities.

The changes have been proposed under the MV Act, which was amended in 2019 to reduce road crashes and improve compliance of rules and considering the shortage of police personnel to enforce traffic rules, the focus is also on digital enforcement of traffic violations.

The draft rules said the state government must ensure appropriate electronic enforcement devices are placed at high-risk and high-density corridors on NH and state highways, and at critical junctions in state capitals.

The footage from electronic enforcement devices can be used to issue challan for speeding, illegal stopping or parking of vehicle, non-wearing of helmets, jumping a red signal, violating a stop sign, use of mobile phone while driving, wrong overtaking and driving against the authorised flow of traffic. The footage can be used for issuing challans for violations of not wearing seatbelt, dangerous driving and overloading.

On the use of body cameras by enforcement personnel, the draft rules say that such devices shall be used to record the proceedings of an event, which can be used in the court as evidence against the offending driver or person. It will also “ensure that the law enforcement official has acted as per the provisions of law while penalising the offending driver or person”.

Both the video and audio functions of the body camera shall be activated only when the law enforcement official is on duty and the official must notify the subjects that they are being recorded by the body camera.

The proposed rules also specify that the electronic enforcement device used for issuance of a challan shall have an approval certificate signed by an appropriate police officer or designated authority certifying that the device is accurate and operating properly.

According to the draft rules, all challans issued shall be approved and signed by an appropriate police officer and must be accompanied with the clear photographic evidence of the offence and the license plate of the vehicle, measurement from the electronic enforcement device, date, time and place of the offence. The challan must specify the provision of the Act that has been violated.

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