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Old 10th June 2011, 17:16   #1
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Default What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

What do you do in the police station?
You work along with cops and regulate traffic in junctions?
Do you roam around the city searching for jams?

These are a few very common questions off late after I took up the job of a traffic reporter. So I finally decided to write about my work. I would write about my experiences some other time. It has a few hilarious things to it….

So then, Nithin Pawar, Traffic Reporter with FM-94.3 Radio One. Yes the guy giving you the bad news about the traffic jams is me. But I do try and make the news not so bad by trying to give the listeners alternate routes to try and avoid the congestions. I also give the reason for the congestion if any.

The day begins at around 7am (I work in 2 shifts, 7am-11am in morning and 5pm-9pm in the evening) when I enter Traffic Management Center (TMC) gate and tackle Rambo (one of the dogs in the TMC campus)…he does not like the sound of my bike I guess . Walking straight into my cabin, yes I do have a separate place to sit, the “Traffic Information Dissemination Cell” in adjacent cabins to my left are the four zonal control room cops, front of me is a huge hall with lot of huge flat screen TVs and many work stations, behind me is the cabin of ACP Traffic and to my right is a wall with a huge Bangalore map on it. So tats my co-ordinates of work. Oh I forgot to mention….all the partitions are of glass, so no sound but clear vision of traffic scenes.

TMC has approx 200 cameras (not sure of exact number) installed in various major junctions of Bangalore. All of these are managed by cops who view this and check for traffic violators.

I keep patrolling (cop terms already… :P) amongst these people and collect news if there is any congestions also interact with the control room cops regularly and collect the news about the scenes of Bangalore regarding accidents, vehicle breakdown, tree fall, water logging, processions, protest….everything that affects the traffic movement. Only thing I do not report is the VIP movements security issues is the primary reason and secondly it is momentary and does not last long. There are exceptions to it…..

Selecting the worst 2 or 3 congestion reports at that time, I compose the traffic update at the given time and inform the MJ/RJ in the station, within about 3 or 4 minutes the update is aired (practically real time). I do try real hard to find out the congestions. But at times there the cops are so busy that I miss out a few incidents.

In come the friendly networks in this time…. Our FB page, twitter feeds and phones, and the good Samaritans who take the pain of updating us if they are struck in any jams. Yes I have to mention, auto drivers and ambulance services do call in also… I do try and tell the control room cops to help clear the traffic to enable ambulance movements…and YES they do help clearing the traffic

So that is pretty much of what I do….oh I almost forgot, you can also help us by being a part of the friendly network, all u need to do is tell us where the jam is and if possible the reason for it. It would help our fellow Bangaloreans save time by taking alternate routes.

You can reach us in the following ways
FaceBook: facebook.com/Bangaloretraffic
Twitter: twitter.com/bangalortraffic

I would be writing about my experiences with the cops and various situations in my following posts. Not necessary to tell, all comments are most welcome…
Drive safe, keep smiling….

Nithin

Last edited by bblost : 13th June 2011 at 09:06. Reason: Extra smiley Removed. Thanks.
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:00   #2
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Indian car scene forum. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:12   #3
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Crisp, informative write-up. thanks Nithin, I had a question for you though, have you seen; if and when there is a Jam how is it handled from a control room perspective ? Does the control room also have remote access to the traffic signals of the important junctions ?
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:40   #4
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Wow now i understood what you meant

Nice work in letting us know and i really hope the bangalore traffic issue gets resolved quickly before its too late!
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Old 13th June 2011, 09:53   #5
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

@vshetty:
yes, the traffic signals can be controlled from the control room. Even the timing of the signals can be altered...
If there is any congestions due to accident or breakdown, the cops try and direct people on alternate routes if possible. If its peak hour, they adjust the signal light timing. There are cases(very rare/emergency) when the cops at the junction switch it off and manually control the flow.

As everyone has targets and pressures in work, the cops are also under HEAVY PRESSURE when there is a jam. They have to ensure the roads are free in minimum time. If not the temperatures go high... I guess u know wat I mean....

I realized this only after seeing it here, else I probably would not trust anyone telling this to me......
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:15   #6
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Nithin I was always wondering (while listening to radio) how you manage to track the traffic scene in Bengaluru. I always assumed this was just a 94.3 initiative and has got nothing to do with cops! How wrong I was! It is great to know you actually put in so much efforts to help Bengaluru in those dreaded peak hours. Great work man!
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:30   #7
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Good job, question Are there any other channels the updates are sent to, why only 94.3?
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Old 13th June 2011, 10:52   #8
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Proud to know that such systems actually working in India.

I have heard long back that gov installed CCTV cameras on important junction across the Pune, but also read in PuneMirror that most of these cameras including those installed on ExpressHighway are out of order. The article even showed the pictures of it. That was really a sad news of how taxed money is wasted, hope such systems would be (not sure if authority has woke up after that news!) in place among all cities and actually work as in Bangalore.
I believe besides Traffic Control, such monitoring systems could help a lot in capturing evidence against any crime.

btw, thanks Nithin for sharing all these details.

Last edited by iSpoke : 13th June 2011 at 10:53.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:11   #9
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Quote:
Originally Posted by vshetty View Post
Crisp, informative write-up. thanks Nithin, I had a question for you though, have you seen; if and when there is a Jam how is it handled from a control room perspective ? Does the control room also have remote access to the traffic signals of the important junctions ?
Well I guess thats an idea for the future. Seeing the present state of our traffic signal, I'm pretty sure that they might not have something like a remote access. I think they call the cop manning the post and ask him to clear the traffic.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:22   #10
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

That's a nice writeup, Nitin, and presents the 'other side of the coin' to us who regularly curse the traffic jams and the cops. I am sure this kind of interaction will help both the sides immensely.
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Old 13th June 2011, 11:27   #11
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

Had this question Nitin, not sure if this is the place i should ask. "Why do traffic cops allow construction trucks, in school timings near school areas". They move slow, sometimes break down, and block traffic and because of that the school going kids suffer. As such Bangalore roads are narrow and any large vehicles in these narrow lanes cause so much trouble.

I thought that there was a rule not to allow heavy vehicle traffic in day time (6:00 hrs - 2100 hrs) not sure if this is followed in Bangalore? at least i don't see it being followed while going to drop me daughter to school every day.
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:13   #12
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

@mayank: I do it exclusive for Radio One, but we do submit news to Radio Indigo and are in process of joining hands with other stations as well.

as for the truck question, unfortunately Im not qualified enough to answer. But yes it irritates me a lot as well :( :(
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Old 13th June 2011, 12:51   #13
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@Nithin,

Great writing. You are doing a fantastic job, keep up the good work.

One question does your role ask for monitoring the movements within the city area or on the out skirts too. What happens when there is a traffic jam where the CCTV are not yet installed, how is the situation tackled.

I wish there were such an initiative in Mumbai too although the updates are there in the radion FM channels. But they just blurt the problem, no solutions provided IMO. First monsoons and the Powai road is already in a complete mess with jams.
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Old 13th June 2011, 13:34   #14
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

nice write-up Nitin! informative indeed - now i know how traffic gets reported.

btw, do you announce the traffic situation on the radio or do you just handover the information to them and they do the announcing?
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Old 13th June 2011, 14:12   #15
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Default Re: What a "Traffic Reporter" actually does

@Nitin, this is real high end movie stuff: Walls full of televisions, monitors, 200 cameras, huge wall hanging maps, people discussing alternate routes.. wow. Had no idea. Thanks for sharing.

One quick question: Is TMC implemented in any other Indian cities?
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