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A total of 1,200 new closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are set to go online later this month in KL, reports The Star. The cameras will help to manage traffic, as well as watch out for traffic violations and crime, in the city under the revamped Integrated Transport Information System (ITIS).

“The new ITIS can help the police and DBKL traffic personnel oversee traffic conditions. A 30-member team is expected to monitor live feeds from the 1,200 cameras in various locations,” DBKL enforcement officer Mohd Hisham Izhar told the English-language daily.

“When an officer monitoring the feed spots traffic congestion building up in a particular area, he can immediately inform our personnel or traffic cops to manage the situation. This will greatly improve our efficiency and speed in managing traffic flow.”

As the team monitoring the CCTV live feed will consist of police as well as DBKL personnel, the improved ITIS could also help curb crime.

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Launched in 2005, ITIS did not get off to a great start – only a few of the 300 cameras under the original system are still working, but Mohd Hisham said lessons have been learnt.

Last year, KL mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib called for an open tender for new contractors to revive ITIS, and GTC Global Sdn Bhd won the RM200 million contract. The company was then acquired by Telekom Malaysia in November 2013.

Already operational at several spots in the city, the new, improved ITIS system makes use of fibre optics instead of copper cables, and bumps up security with an automated alarm system, according to The Star.

Some cameras, especially those at major traffic junctions, even have 360-degree turning capabilities and speakers to aurally alert motorists. Mohd Hisham told The Star that he hoped the new cameras could also pick up traffic violations by taxis, buses, lorries and private car owners.

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“Now it is a cat-and-mouse game with taxi drivers who park indiscriminately along the road. Within minutes, their action can cause a serious traffic congestion, especially in areas such as Jalan Bukit Bintang.

“We hope the CCTVs can be used to track repeat offenders and SPAD (Land Public Transport Commission) can use this information to take action, including revoking their permits,” he said.

“Until the (ITIS) project is fully completed, everyone will have to bear with major traffic congestions in Kuala Lumpur (particularly since MRT construction would go on until 2016) but the CCTVs will be a great help,” Mohd Hisham added.