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Makati installs ‘red light cameras’ to catch erring drivers

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08:31 PM August 30th, 2011

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By: Tina G. Santos, August 30th, 2011 08:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines—In a bid to improve traffic flow and road safety, the Makati City government has started installing “red light cameras” that can capture in video and still photos vehicles whose drivers commit traffic violations, including beating the red light.

Apart from catching motorists who disregard traffic signals, the new technology will also be used to monitor and record real-time incidents and occurrences like public utility vehicles (PUV) whose drivers wait for passengers at loading/unloading bays beyond the authorized time period (a maximum of 15 seconds) or drop off or pick up passengers outside of authorized loading/unloading PUV stops.

Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay said that the cameras would also be used to go after pedestrians who jaywalk or commit other traffic violations.

Binay and officials from the Australia-based QPAX Traffic Systems earlier entered into an agreement to field test the devices—to be mounted next to a traffic light—for three months at no cost to the city government.

Under the memorandum of agreement, the equipment and system will be tested during the demonstration period and data gathered in controlled areas may be subjected to a feasibility study which will be the basis for a formal proposal QPAX may subsequently offer for the installation of the equipment and technology in the city.

Binay said the installation of red light cameras was in line with the recently approved City Ordinance No. 2011-010 which amended the city’s traffic rules and imposes stiffer fines on violators, especially those caught driving under the influence of liquor or drugs.

Once the camera captures the image of a driver believed to have committed a traffic violation, the footage or photo will be sent to a nerve center which will process these as evidence should a case be filed against the erring driver.

Binay said a traffic violation notice, accompanied by the evidence, would be sent by mail to the registered owner of the errant vehicle. Those caught beating the red light, for example, face a fine of P2,500 and/or suspension of their driver’s license.

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