Now SMS for traffic assistance

NEW DELHI: Commuters with cellphones can now get information on traffic by simply pressing a few buttons.

The Delhi traffic police on Monday launched a short message service (SMS) which will provide information on traffic diversions, pending notices and even the whereabouts of area traffic police officials.

However, the number 9811452220 is not toll-free. Launching the service, commissioner Ajai Raj Sharma said, ‘‘This service is another step to tackle traffic-related problems by using advancements in the communication technology.’’

He also stressed on the need for the traffic police to discipline themselves and ‘‘make efforts to improve their image’’.

However, traffic police officials cautioned people against using phones while driving. ‘‘Motorists who use their phones to access information while driving will be prosecuted,’’ said joint commissioner of police (traffic) Maxwell Pereira. The fine for such an offence is Rs 1,000.
The traffic police has devised simple codes for people to obtain information. The user has to just type T and send message to 9811452220. ‘‘They will receive the latest information on traffic,’’ said deputy commissioner of police (VIP movements) S B S Tyagi.

Similarly, if a person’s vehicle is towed away or is facing traffic-related problems in the area, he or she just has to type ‘H’ followed by the name of the colony. ‘‘It is important to keep a space between H and the colony name. The computer will then respond and give the name, address and telephone number of the local police officer,’’ said assistant commissioner of police (traffic computer centre) G S Awana.

At present, there is a database of only 450 colonies in the traffic police database. Offenders who want to know the status of their pending challans can get the details by typing ‘N’ followed by their vehicle number. ‘‘The reply message will give details of the date and place of violation, offence and the compounding fine,’’ Tyagi said.

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