In order to respond better and faster to traffic-related crisis in Thane city, the Thane Traffic Police have started using Google Maps to track the traffic situation in real time. The initiative, which was started in October 2021, has drastically reduced police’s response time, leading to fewer and shorter traffic jams.
According to Thane Traffic Police officers, the initiative was started after lengthy brainstorming sessions following a spate of traffic jams observed in the monsoon. Crucial roads like Ghodbunder Road and the Mumbra Bypass witnessed heavy traffic congestion almost every day due to multiple reasons. These included frequent breaking down of vehicles, accidents, terrible road conditions and double parking on busy roads. Thane Guardian Minister, Eknath Shinde, had announced a slew of measures at the time including parking lots for heavy vehicles during the hours that they are prohibited.
Officials said that one of the ideas discussed during this time was the possible use of Google Maps, which shows traffic conditions on the roads in real time. The website shows roads in various colours depending on how heavy the traffic is, with the red colour signifying the heaviest and slowest moving traffic on the road.
“In October 2021, we set up a video wall of four 55-inch screens in our control room in Thane, where we started tracking traffic in the city 24/7. Every time the website showed a road highlighted in red, we would contact the nearest beat marshals via the…