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September 11, 2012

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Roads to add 200 cameras a year

SHANGHAI will add 200 sets of road surveillance cameras annually to strengthen traffic violation enforcement, said city traffic police.

In response to city's top advisory body, which found a degree of traffic chaos and rampant violations on suburban ring roads, the traffic police said they will rely on cameras to nail violators. The new cameras will be added to locations and crossroads with frequent congestion and violations and to transportation hubs, said police.

The city now has more than 1,900 sets of surveillance cameras at local crossroads. But the current cameras can't reach all areas where violations are a problem, especially in city outskirts.

"The traffic violations like speeding and illegal passing are common on the Outer Ring Road," said Yan Zhizhuang with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a member of the local advisory body. "Some transport trucks even use the passenger vehicle lanes and block the way."

Police said they will use the latest high-definition models of traffic cameras.

Not only can they capture a clear image of a car plate number but also the driver's image. Some cameras in current use have relatively poor image quality and need good weather to produce readily identifiable images.

Shanghai first introduced traffic cameras in 1996 when they still used film. They proved a success. By the early 2000s, traffic violation cases on some roads and intersections had dropped by up to 80 percent.

Also yesterday, traffic police said 17 people were killed and 104 others injured in tricycle-related road accidents this year.

Police said the tricycles, after changes in the engines for use in illegal transport operations, can reach the speed of regular vehicles, which is dangerous on the streets.

Police said they also will step up enforcement action against the illegal operators, who have been found gathering to attack passengers who do not want to take their tricycles.


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