Philippines arms traffic division with handhelds

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) is arming traffic enforcers with BlackBerry handhelds that allow remote access to motorist and vehicle records.

Using BlackBerry 7290 handhelds, the LTO’s Traffic Violation System (TVS) allows traffic enforcers to access information from the agency’s central database such as license number, name and birth date of driver, license expiry date, vehicle plate number and registration date, among others.

“But for security purposes, information regarding home addresses of motorists are not included and cannot be obtained using the TVS,” said Ramon Reyes, vice president for operations for local systems integrator Stradcom, which implemented the system for LTO.

The TVS uses GPRS connection provided by telecom partner Smart Communications.

Reyes said there are 213 BlackBerry units and Smart postpaid lines assigned to LTO regional directors, assistant regional directors and apprehending officers nationwide.

Based on LTO data, there are about 6 million registered vehicles in the country at present, but 1.3 million of these are delinquent or have unrenewed licenses. Nearly 70 percent of these unrenewed vehicles are tricycles.

Stradcom is looking to extend access to the TVS to other agencies including the Traffic Management Group, Philippine National Police, Metro Manila Development Authority, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, Department of Interior and Local Government, and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Meanwhile, LTO chief assistant secretary Reynaldo Berroya, said the TVS would be a great help for the government’s “Oplan Balik Rehistro” campaign, which encourages the registration of delinquent or unrenewed motor vehicles.

Berroya said the system is also helpful in alerting authorities about stolen vehicles and information about a vehicle owner’s history of traffic violations or accidents.

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