Automated systems have made things easier for humans, but they have their limitations
Overspeeding is one of the biggest causes of road accidents in the country. Every year, overspeeding results in thousands of injuries and fatalities. The government has done its bit to discourage overspeeding by significantly increasing the fine for speeding, overspeeding and racing.
Technology has also come to the rescue, as is evident with automatic speed cameras installed in major cities. These cameras have the ability to detect speed as well as capture the image of the offending vehicle.
India’s capital Delhi has several of these speed cameras installed at various locations. While the automated system works perfectly fine in most cases, there may be occasions when it might get tricked into making a false allegation.
Speeding fine issued for a stationary motorcycle
In a recent case that highlights the limitations of automated systems, a Jawa Forty Two whose battery had died and was being transported on a tempo – has been booked for overspeeding. The incident occurred in New Delhi at two places – Traffic Island, Khajuri Chowk Flyover, Usmanpur and Outer Ring Road, Block E, Gandhi Vihar. These are among the locations that have the speed cameras installed.
The owner of the motorcycle, Manoj Kumar was surprised to see the fines and has posted his experience with others on Jawa Facebook Group. The speed cameras apparently do not have the intelligence to distinguish between a motorcycle riding on a tempo and a motorcycle riding on its own wheels.
A human would have easily spotted the difference. The automated speed cameras did exactly what they have been programmed to do, which has resulted in a wrong overspeeding fine for the motorcycle.
Such cases are rare, so it’s unlikely that the system will be upgraded to avoid these types of mistakes in future. The existing system is a simple one wherein only the speed of the moving vehicle and its registration number is recorded. It will require significant investments if artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning modules were to be added to the existing system.
The owner has shared an easier solution that users can implement when transporting their motorcycle on a tempo or another vehicle. He said that just covering the number plate with a piece of cloth will be enough to avoid such fines.
In this situation, the speed camera will detect overspeeding, but it won’t be able to record the registration number. This solution seems legit and would be helpful in avoiding unnecessary hassles when transporting a motorcycle on another vehicle.