Government Attributes Decreased Accidents to AI Cameras, Dismisses Political Motive in Petition

The Kerala government has asserted in the High Court that the introduction of AI cameras for traffic monitoring has led to a notable decline in the number of accidents within the state. Furthermore, they have refuted the allegations against the project, deeming them unfounded. This explanation was presented in response to a petition filed by the opposition leader, V D Satheesan, and the former opposition leader, Ramesh Chennithala, who had accused the government of significant irregularities in the installation of AI cameras as part of the Safe Kerala project.

The installation of AI cameras received approval after five years of extensive consultations, and the government has labeled the petition against the project as politically motivated. The petitioners have not provided any concrete evidence to support their claims of irregularities. According to Biju Prabhakar, Secretary of the Transport Department, who responded on behalf of the government, the petitioners are attempting to uncover irregularities through a court-supervised investigation.

A division bench consisting of Chief Justice Ashish J Desai and Justice VG Arun has adjourned the petition to September 18, as the petitioners have requested additional time to respond.

Key Points from the Affidavit:

  • Kerala boasts the highest number of vehicles in the country, estimated at 1.69 crore, with the total project cost amounting to 232 crores.
  • AI cameras commenced full operation on June 5, resulting in fines totaling Rs 59.72 crore being imposed by September 5. A total of 7.14 lakh challans were issued, and fines amounting to 7.62 crore have been collected to date.
  • The introduction of AI cameras has significantly reduced the number of accidents, as motorists have become more cautious on the roads. To illustrate this, a comparison was made between the figures for August in 2022 and 2023:

August 2022:

  • Number of accidents: 3366
  • Deaths: 307
  • Injuries: 4040

August 2023:

  • Number of accidents: 1065
  • Deaths: 58
  • Injuries: 1197

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