In an unexpected incident, a priest was penalized by an AI camera deployed for traffic monitoring after it mistakenly identified his long beard as obstructing the view of his seatbelt. The incident occurred when Priest John George, vicar of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Syrian Church in Patamus, found himself on the receiving end of a traffic violation notification.
The incident unfolded when the priest, after visiting his parents in Adoor, was returning to Kakkadu via the Chengannur-Nagampadam road. Unbeknownst to him, AI cameras in various locations including Tiruvalla, Kallissery, Kottayam, and Nagamath had captured his image and imposed fines of Rs 500 each for not wearing a seatbelt.
Surprised by the penalty notifications he received on his mobile phone, the priest realized that the AI camera had mistaken his long beard for concealing his seatbelt. To clarify the situation, he visited the Kakkanad Regional Transport Office (RTO) the following day to seek clarity on the matter.
At the RTO, the priest showed the photo he had received in the message, clearly demonstrating that his seatbelt was hidden from view by his long beard.