Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Road accidents - how can technology help?

The other day I listened to the Police Commissioner releasing the grim statistics about road accidents during this festive season. The only question that kept popping in my mind is: what can we do? Surely, I believe that the road infrastructure is improving courtesy of Government interventions, there is no drinking in the wee hours of the morning... then the question is 'What more can be done to reduce the road carnage?'

As a technology person, I wonder why we cannot ( specifically the Traffic Department) use technology to help curb the growing list of accidents on our roads. Take the example of AccessKenya (AK) Initiative of installing cameras monitoring traffic on major highways. Why can't the government contract AK to monitor any misbehaving traffic offenders on the road? Such guys should be informed ( preferably through an SMS) to report to the nearest police station for onward 'towing' to the court and they should be fined promptly. Even the government can make money from such a venture.

This is not a new technology. It was been deployed elsewhere and it is proven that it can work. Let the Police Commissioner talk to AK to run even on a pilot basis this technology and see how it works. I believe that AK will be more than willing to help since even right now they are not charging a penny to those using this service.

We need to stop losing our loved ones on the roads due to the recklessness of a few among us.