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Rediff News  All News  » Business » Blackberry helps Pune cops nab habitual offenders

Blackberry helps Pune cops nab habitual offenders

April 16, 2009 12:01 IST

Imagine this situation. Girish Ranade (name changed), a Pune resident, is caught breaking a red light. He takes out his license as asked, and is mentally prepared to shell out the required penalty.

What takes him aback, though, is the fact that traffic policeman tells him that his driving license is being confiscated since he is a habitual offender. Girish contests the claim. Nonchalantly, the traffic policeman takes out his Blackberry and shows Girish a list of his previous offences.

Girish meekly submits, but is still perplexed. How could the policeman have known?

The traffic policeman simply entered the license number of Girish on the space provided for the same on the Blackberry screen which, in turn, contacted a backend server and the officer could obtain a list of details including previous offenses recorded for that vehicle, if any. Entering the vehicle number too would have yielded similar results.

Girish simply serves as a case in point for traffic offenders in Pune who will have to be on their guard henceforth. The police department has decided to arm all assistants sub-inspectors and above officers with Blackberry phones in the municipal and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas of the city.

These Blackberrys will be connected to a server back in the office of the department. Through this communication mechanism, a traffic police will have access to an entire database of vehicles registered in the city. The move is aimed at introducing traffic discipline and better equipping traffic officers on the field.

"We chose the Blackberry due to the QWERTY keyboard. This mechanism will work through the GPRS service. An officer can have access to the database with his phone. Currently, when he catches a traffic offender, he has no clue about the background of the owner or the vehicle which makes it difficult. Within almost four months when the Blackberrys will finally be operational the situation will get better," DCP Traffic Manoj Patil told Business Standard.

The department will be spending close to Rs 40 lakh (Rs 4 million) for the 100-odd devices that have been approved for the traffic police.

An electronic challan will replace the paper receipts that are issued for a vehicle at present. And, the records will be maintained in the server.

The next time the number is punched in, the previous records will appear. Apart from this, features like permit details, suspected persons' list, repeated offenders' list, stolen vehicles' numbers etc will also be available at the touch of a button.

"Multiple data entries are possible in this device which will save a lot of time and manpower required to physically maintain all the records," added DCP Patil. The University of Pune and Ministry of Science and Technology's body Science and Technology Park is helping the traffic department develop this mechanism.

Pravda Godbole in Pune