Contemporary Wireless Traffic
Surveillance System
Transport Department, Electrical and Mechanical Services Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2009
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(Cantonese version only)

Handling Incidents Speedily and Accurately

Kowloon was hit by squalls on 9th May 2005, and as a result scaffoldings and trees collapsed in a number of places, seriously disabling the traffic. The Transport Department (TD) and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), following the spirit of striving for excellence and delivering quality public service, actively studied viable options and launched the Contemporary Wireless Traffic Surveillance System (the system). With this surveillance system, TD can acquire live video images, accurately monitor the progress of incidents, formulate strategies to handle incidents, and release accurate traffic information to the public. People can avoid traffic congestions by not entering the affected road sections or by using other means of transport according to actual situations. At the same time traffic congestions at the incident sites can also be relieved.

New Technology in Traffic Monitoring

Mr WONG Po Fung, Senior Engineer, TD, indicated, Following two departmental missions of Putting Our Heart Into It, Keep Hong Kong Moving and Give our community a better quality of life by providing our customers and the public with total engineering solutions and service excellence, TD and EMSD formulated the joint-mission of Using advanced technologies to transmit quickly all live images on the roads to the Traffic Control Centre and launched the Contemporary Wireless Traffic Surveillance System in May, 2006.

Mr CHUNG Ching Wai, Senior Electronics Engineer, EMSD, added, The system is named Contemporary because it uses the latest and fastest wireless telephone network as its transmission platform and is powered by batteries. We can dispatch motorcycles to incident sites quickly, install cameras on the road signs or railings, and transmit real-time video images of road situations to the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre (ETCC). Unlike traditional Closed Circuit Televisions (CCTVs), it requires neither utility works for laying telecommunications lines nor exorbitant costs for line hiring and repairing. At the initial stage, the use of commercially available equipment resulted in unstable quality of video images and the need to manually adjust camera directions on-site. The EMSD therefore developed in-house a proprietary system with stable images and remote-control functions, thus greatly enhanced the efficiency of managing incidents. The system has also assisted in the live broadcasting of the Olympic Torch Relay and the Equestrian Events in Hong Kong. Furthermore, the two Departments have extended the technologies to a number of other departments for their uses.

Mr WONG Po Fung (first from the right), Senior Engineer (Transport Incident Management Division), TD, remarked that the inter-departmental collaborations and the birth of the new system were responses to actual needs of the community for handling traffic incidents. The second and third from the right are, respectively, Mr Benny HUI, Engineer (Transport Incident Management Division), TD, and Mr CHUNG Ching Wai, Senior Electronics Engineer (Electronic Communication), EMSD.
In the early stage of operation of the system, operational personnel rode the mobile monitoring motorcycle every day to familiarise themselves with road environment and ensure prompt services.
The system can transmit, anytime and anywhere, video images to the Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre (ETCC), thus facilitating the handling of traffic incidents.