Warning To Drivers: That CCTV May Put You In Jail Or Have Your Car Impounded

This is a warning to all drivers in Lagos that are always in a hurry to break the traffic rules, your days of reckoning are coming and it’s coming very very fast.

A driver got a message from the Lagos VIS that he broke the traffic rules and as a first-time offender, he was billed for 30,000 naira. That sounds strange, many questions like how are they able to track him, how did they know he didn’t wait for the traffic light, how come they were able to know and get his details, all these and more we shall dissect shortly.

This is the format of the SMS they sent across…

Your vehicle (plate number) committed a TRAFFIC OFFENCE with bill no xxxxxx. Visit VIS HQ Alausa within 7 days to avoid impoundment”.

In 2017/2018, The Lagos State Government decided to go digital in the handling of its traffic management, they took a step by upgrading and their vehicle inspection facilities across the state, they went and understudy a system in the UK called the ANPR. The mechanism displayed is the Automatic Number Plate Recognition. An ANPR is a CCTV camera that can send a driver back to its village if such is not careful.

According to Wikipedia, an ANPR Machine can be used to store the images captured by the cameras as well as the text from the license plate, with some configurable to store a photograph of the driver.
The systems commonly use infrared lighting to allow the camera to take the picture at any time of day or night, with the ANPR technology taking into account plate numbering variations from place to place.

The machine put in place is called the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and it comes in the form of a CCTV. To the drivers, it’s just an ordinary CCTV but to the government, it’s a tracking device which helps to track and trail any defaulters.

Let’s see how this ANPR works for public enlightenment. According to police.uk, An Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology is used to help detect, deter and disrupt criminality at a local, force, regional and national level, including tackling travelling criminals, Organised Crime Groups and terrorists. ANPR provides lines of enquiry and evidence in the investigation of crime and is used by law enforcement agencies. It may be safe to say that it works alone without supervision on a 24/7 working mode. That means that CCTV at Apapa, Ikoyi, VI, Ikeja may just be an ANPR just waiting for you to cross the line.

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