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Debate underway on efficiency of equipping traffic cops with cameras

The Ho Chi Minh Traffic Safety Committee’s proposal that a U.S.-based charity to equip local traffic police officers with cameras has triggered a debate among people who support and object to the proposal.

The Ho Chi Minh Traffic Safety Committee’s proposal that a U.S.-based charity to equip local traffic police officers with cameras has triggered a debate among people who support and object to the proposal.
The Ho Chi Minh Traffic Safety Committee’s proposal that a U.S.-based charity to equip local traffic police officers with cameras has triggered a debate among people who support and object to the proposal.

In late March, the Committee called on charitable organization Bloomberg Philanthropies to equip local traffic police officers with 200 cameras that can be fixed on their helmets to help improve traffic police officers’ ability to supervise and handle traffic rule violations, according to Nguyen Ngoc Tuong, deputy chief of the committee.

The proposal has immediately triggered a lot of comments among VnExpress  newspaper’s readers as well as experts on the effectiveness of the proposed equipment.

N.V.L., one VnExpress reader, expressed support to the proposal, considering it a tool that will help prevent corruptive acts from police officers on duty and enhance the efficiency of handling traffic violations.

Another reader, Quoc Bao, said the images from such cameras will be clear evidence for the acts of both traffic police officers and traffic violators.

Dr. Nguyen Hong Thai, from Hanoi Transport University, said such cameras are like black boxes for cars or aircraft, as they provide image data for supervising both law enforcers and lawbreakers.

“An important issue here is how to ensure the effectiveness of such cameras and manage the data in them,” Thai added.

Agreeing with Dr. Thai, Associate Professor Dr. Pham Xuan Mai, from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology, said if there is one more tool for traffic police, then the traffic supervision will become better.

Bui Danh Lien, chairman of Hanoi Automobile Transportation Association, said such cameras will help record images as convincing evidence for handling traffic violations.

However, some readers said such equipment cannot help improve traffic management and suggested that the authorities should invest in improve traffic infrastructure instead of in such cameras.

Nguyen Hau Moi, one of these readers, frankly said, “It is only a waste to invest in such cameras. In order to ensure traffic safety and reduce traffic accidents, police should re-arrange lanes to streamline them, install enough traffic signals, and ensure the strict law enforcement by traffic police officers on duty.”

A reader said, “I don’t believe that such camera will help improve traffic safety and reduce traffic accidents. The necessary things to do are improve traffic infrastructure, enhance awareness of compliance with traffic rules among the public, and ensure strict and effective operations of traffic police officers.”

Some other readers requested that  such cameras be fixed on police vehicles and the handling of any traffic violations must be carried out in front of these cameras so that the images of both office officers and violators can be recorded sufficiently.

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the ten cities in the world benefiting from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ funding for programs that help enhance traffic capabilities, alleviate road accidents, and minimize resulting death tolls.

As shown on its website, Bloomberg Philanthropies, headquartered in New York City, encompasses all of the charitable giving for founder Michael R. Bloomberg.

The charity foundation focuses its resources on five areas: the environment, public health, the arts, government innovation, and education, its website said.