A WOMAN walked hurriedly out of a bank in Jalan Yong Shook Lin in Petaling Jaya, entered her car and drove away after she heard an announcement to remove her vehicle through a loudspeaker from outside the building.
The “voice” was that of a Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) enforcement officer reading out the vehicle number plate and made a precise description of the car committing the traffic offence.
The enforcement officer was seated on the 22nd floor of Menara MBPJ’s Command Centre and she could zoom in to look at the vehicles from her control panel at the centre.
The objective of the exercise is not to stalk motorists but to ensure safety and traffic order in the city.
Since February this year, the MBPJ paired its closed-circuit television (CCTV) with loudspeakers at 12 locations along the one-way-loop (OWL) in Section 52 in a move to provide better surveillance and traffic management in the area.
Motorists must strictly park at designated parking bays because MBPJ is now able to observe in real time and make announce-ments via loudspeakers directing motorists to repark their vehicles.
If the directive is ignored, the enforcement officers will issue either a summon, clamp or tow the vehicle away.
The CCTV is monitored 24 hours by council officers.
The CCTV speakers are located near Affin Bank in Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Amcorp Mall in Jalan Timur, The Art Gallery in Jalan Utara, St. Paul Church in Jalan Utara, Hotel Armada in Jalan Utara, PJ Hilton in Jalan Barat, LRT Asia Jaya in Jalan Utara, Taman Jaya in Jalan Timur, Bulatan Sultan in Jalan Sultan, SK Sri Petaling in Jalan Utara, SMK Bukit Bintang in Jalan Utara and Wisma Yan in Jalan Selangor.
Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the method was effective in reducing traffic offences in one of the busiest commercial areas in the city.
“Our statistics show that 85% of the drivers will immediately remove their vehicles once they hear their vehicle number plates announced through the loudspeaker. If we can’t see the number plate from our control centre due to obstruction, we will then describe the colour of the vehicle, model and where it is parked.
“Since February this year, we have made announcements through the loudspeakers for over 1,570 vehicles that obstructed traffic. Out of this, 1,295 vehicles left the spots within a few minutes of hearing the announcement,” he said.
The process involved the council to first view the roads in real-time through the CCTV from the command centre at Menara MBPJ.
When they spot a vehicle blocking traffic, an announcement would be made from the control centre via the loudspeakers to repark the car.
“The announcement is loud and clear and you can’t miss it. This method has been very effective and has reduced the numbers of traffic offenders drastically. Regulars to PJ New Town are familiar with our announcements. In fact, the number of traffic offenders in PJ New Town has reduced too,” he said.
During StarMetro’s exclusive interview with the mayor at the command centre, the officers were busy observing the traffic situation. They showed the technology’s ability to zoom into the vehicle and to get a high definition view of the vehicle road tax.
The mayor said the idea to use the speakers were made following a visit to Bandung, Indonesia.
“We saw the effectiveness of this method in Bandung and we decided to implement it in Petaling Jaya. Our 12 CCTVs with loudspeakers cover public spaces, commercial areas and outside some schools in Section 52,” he said.
The CCTV speaker is part of the council’s Smart PJ programme to beef up safety in the city.
The mayor said he welcomed Petaling Jaya OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Zani Che Din's idea to link more council CCTVs with the police for security and road safety purposes.
“We have about 120 cameras currently linked with the police. Incidents such as snatch thefts and accidents are also recorded on the CCTV cameras.
“We are always ready to assist the police to make the city a better and safer place for the people,” said Mohd Aziz, adding that the council planned to expand the CCTV with speaker system to more commercial areas such as Section 14.
“We will consider expanding this system to areas where traffic obstruction is rampant such as the Section 14 business area. In future, we also want to be able to link any important announcement such as flash floods using this system,” he said.
The mayor hoped to introduce limited parking at busy business areas such as Section 52 to ease the problem of double parking.
“We do not want people to hog parking bays. We may limit parking hours to maximum three hours. This will provide others an opportunity to park and business premises could rent bays from us if they want,” he said.
So far this year, in Section 52 alone, the council’s enforcement unit clamped 1,100 cars and towed 45 vehicles away.
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