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“The system costs B16,176,367, with the funds provided by the UK-based Safer Roads Foundation,” Dr Wiwat noted.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Teeraphol Thipjaroen told The Phuket News that the five locales chosen were “the main intersection in Thalang; a major intersection in Kathu; the intersection of Thepkrasattri Rd and Komaraphat Rd in Phuket Town; Kwang Rd in Wichit; and a major intersection in Kamala.”
“Signs will be installed at the five locations so that motorists have no excuse that they didn’t know the law was being applied there,” he added.
“Each location will have three cameras, and the system will be first used for issuing automatic fines for motorbike riders – and passengers – not wearing helmets,” Gen Teeraphol said.
The cameras and the combined system have the ability to read license plates of cars and motorbikes, he said.
“The system also has face-recognition image capability, and can identify motorbike riders regardless of whether they are wearing helmets or not, but at the initial stage the cameras will not be linked to the national ID database,” Gen Teeraphol explained.
“The cameras can also sense vehicles that cross stop lines at intersections, so if a motorist crosses a stop line while the light facing them is red, we will be able to automatically fine them running a red light,” he said.
“For this, I have ordered police in all areas to ensure stop lines are painted clearly at major intersections in their areas, and I have asked all local government municipalities to do the same,” he added.
The system even has the ability to sense – and take clear images of – people riding or driving the wrong way against the flow of traffic, a habit known locally as “ghostriding” or ghostdriving”, Gen Teeraphol noted.
“In issuing the fines for not wearing helmets, the system will compare the license plate captured in the photo or image with the database of registered vehicles kept at the phuket Land Transport office (PLTO),” he said.