High-tech speeding cameras come to low-tech Pakistani roads

 

Islamabad, Pakistan

Instinctive braking and muttered epithets: That is the universal response to the telltale flash of light indicating a driver has been caught on camera cruising over the speed limit.

In Islamabad, one company is banking that this technology, the bane of the existence of drivers across the developed world, will continue to pick up speed in this developing country and in other emerging markets in the region.

East West Infiniti, a high-tech electronics company that makes digital traffic speed cameras, has seen robust sales as jurisdictions deploy the robotic cash-producers that can be found on roads all over Pakistan, a poor nation where donkey carts, water buffalo and camels still vie for space on major thoroughfares.

The company controls 70 percent of the Pakistani speed camera market, said Haroon J. Qureshi, East West Infiniti's managing director. The cameras are manufactured and assembled almost completely in Pakistan, except for the laser gun, which is imported from the United States.

Speed cameras in the capital and elsewhere are nothing new — East West Infiniti began providing the cameras to the Islamabad police force in 2006 — but the griping seems to be on the rise. Police now deploy portable cameras on many of the city's major roadways and their locations are changed frequently to maintain the element of surprise.

There seems to be no escaping the fixed eye and strobe light of the law. Police currently have 70 cameras throughout the capital, including 30 made by the company.

"It's a good business," Qureshi said.

The company's "Got-U" citation system gives traffic officers the capacity to process and print tickets on the spot.

The Islamabad Traffic Police department has penalized around 19,000 people this past year alone, generating significant income for the federal government. Violators were fined 200 rupees for speeding infractions (about $2.10), said Shams Gill, an Islamabad Traffic Police spokesman.

That's no match for a $40-plus speeding ticket issued in many American towns and cities but it amounts to one month's school fees in Pakistan.

"Usually the people who are fined don't like that," said Gill. "But they must know that it is for their own good and safety."

Taxi driver Khalil Ahmed, 24, who like many of his colleagues drives a small, older vehicle, said he is particularly wary of being fined because he doesn't make much money.

"The big car owners, those driving Land Cruisers, they have no fear of speed cameras and they keep on violating traffic laws," he said. "The traffic police must punish them, instead of poor taxi drivers."

East West Infiniti, which also sells military, maritime and aviation signals-oriented products, said the profit margin on speed cameras is 15 to 20 percent. The company also exports cameras to Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and other Middle Eastern states and is also exploring markets in Europe.

"The exports bring us more money as compared to the local market, and the profit that we earn by selling these cameras abroad is almost double," Qureshi said.

Sport
Club legend Paul Scholes is scared United could disappear into 'the wilderness'
football
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

HR Advisor - East Anglia - Field-based

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: To be considered for this position you will n...

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home