New speed cameras work well in bad light

New speed cameras work well in bad light
A traffic police officer uses the latest Police Speed Laser Camera (PSLC) along Nicoll Highway to track vehicles which are violating the speed limit.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

There is a misconception among motorists that the likelihood of getting caught for speeding is lower at night because of the poor lighting.

And many drivers think that if they zoom past a speed camera and do not see a flash, they have got away with it.

Regardless, speedsters should not be surprised from now on if they receive a letter from the Traffic Police (TP) for offences in both those scenarios.

TP on Thursday (May 19) rolled out new handheld Police Speed Laser Cameras (PSLC) with more powerful features to monitor accident-prone zones, day and night.

These new cameras can detect front and back number plates in bad lighting.

They can also capture high resolution images and videos, both in day and night conditions, due to the new infrared flash that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

The battery life of the cameras has also almost doubled - from four hours in the previous camera to seven in the new one, said TP.

TP Commander Sam Tee said at a media briefing on Thursday (May 19) that they "periodically review accident-prone areas" to develop new enforcement strategies.

Said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tee: "On top of the existing speed enforcement cameras, PSLC operations that are conducted both day and night daily will serve as a reminder to motorists to comply with speed limits." The first speed camera debuted in 2004 and since then, the dated film cameras have been replaced with digital ones.

The locations where camera operations are conducted also vary.

In line with TP's approach to curb speeding, the cameras are mobile and can be set up at 44 accident-prone and high-risk locations islandwide such as Lornie Road towards Adam Road and East Coast Parkway towards Changi Airport.

Before the upgrade, speed cameras were used at 48 locations.

In its annual statistics in February, TP saw a 12.2 per cent decline in the number of speed-related accidents from 1,363 in 2014 to 1,197 last year.

But the number of fatal accidents involving speeding vehicles increased, from 43 in 2014 to 48 last year.

BLACK MOTORCYCLES

Aside from the cameras, the police recently introduced black matte motorcycles, believed to be used for on-the-road operations such as catching motorists who use their mobile devices while driving.

The Straits Times reported on Wednesday (May 18) that the bikes are part of its "enhanced enforcement operations against errant motorists", said a police spokesman.

The spokesman declined to provide more details about the new bikes due to operational concerns.

ACP Tee said: "The mode varies, officers can go on bikes and cars that are both equipped with laser and radar guns, but enforcement is the same, during the day and night."

Old v New

OLD CAMERA

Visible flash

Can capture only still images, at a shorter distance

Battery can last up to four hours

NEW CAMERA

Modular infrared flash system that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can capture images clearly, even at night

Video function that can detect vehicle speed from a distance

Battery can last up to seven hours

Here are 10 of the 44 island-wide locations where the camera may be used to target speeding drivers:

Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 towards Upper Thomson Road

Ayer Rajah Expressway towards Tuas

Braddell Road towards Bartley Road

Bukit Timah Expressway towards Woodlands Checkpoint

Changi Coast Road towards Nicoll Drive

Clementi Avenue 6 towards Ayer Rajah Expressway

Lentor Avenue towards Yishun Avenue 2

Tampines Avenue 10 towards Bartley Road East

Upper Bukit Timah Road towards Jalan Anak Bukit

Woodlands Avenue 12 towards Woodlands Avenue 10

For the full list of all 44 locations, go to tinyurl/tnp-camlist


This article was first published on May 20, 2016.
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