Information tech to boost road safety
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
BRUNEI plans to use information technology to boost road safety in the Sultanate.
Under the plan, two road safety research projects — the Road Accident Data Enhancement and Development (RADED) and the Average Speed Monitoring System (ASMOS) —will be carried out.
While RADED will help improve the database of road accidents in the country enabling the authorities to take corrective measures to reduce accidents, ASMOS will help monitor the speeds of road users in Brunei and is geared towards helping enforce traffic rules and regulations.
RADED, which is estimated to cost around $100,000, will be completed in a year, while ASMOS, which is estimated to cost around $235,000, will be completed in around three years due to hardware testing and other technical issues. Both the projects were launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday at the Ministry of Communications (MinComm) between the Centre for Transport Research (CfTR) at Institut Teknologi Brunei (ITB) and MinComm.
Speaking to The Brunei Times, CfTR Deputy Director Haji Mohd Adi Mukmin Haji Sarbini said the projects were part of ITB’s efforts to foster closer collaboration with MinComm in reducing the rate of road fatalities and serious injuries.
“What we are trying to achieve for RADED is to improve the database for road accidents because if we want to do proper research on the data (recorded) by the police and the road safety unit, we need more than just the name of the location and the type of accident that occurred,” he said.
“We want to make it so that from the operational side, especially for the police, they will have all the important information recorded. For example, the exact location, including the direction each vehicle was heading prior to the incident,” he added.
Haji Mohd Adi Mukmin said if the database was accurate, more studies could be conducted to identify “problem” areas or hot spots. “Through RADED, we also aim to make data recording more convenient and user-friendly for the authorities. Currently, details are handwritten, and someone needs to input the information into a database,” he said.
The ASMOS is a way to monitor the speeds of road users in Brunei Darussalam, and its operational use is geared more towards enforcing traffic rules and regulations, he said. “The idea behind this system is to use something that is not expensive (for monitoring). The normal practice in other countries is to install speed cameras or employ police personnel on roads to check (for speeders),” he said.
“The ASMOS would be integrated with Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) (so speeding motorists) can be easily identified with a database already installed in the ASMOS device,” he added.
Haji Mohd Adi Mukmin said that RFID is similar to the use of identification cards to gain access to certain areas in offices. But for the ASMOS, tags would be (installed) on each car, enabling the system to detect the owner and the speed limit breached.
“We do not want something that is fixed like speed cameras, where you would have to install them at certain spots. What we want is a device where, if we need to monitor (traffic), we can just put it at the desired spot and then collect the data on speeding motorists along the route,” he said.
He said the system would not only be used for enforcement but also for making road users aware of certain stretches of roads that are considered “hot spots” that are prone to accidents.
The MoU was signed on behalf of the CfTR by its Director, Dr Tan Soon Jiann. Dr Hj Supry Hj Awang Ladi represented MinComm.
The signing was witnessed by Minister of Communications Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdullah Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar. Also present were the Permanent Secretary of MinComm and Chairman of the Brunei National Road Safety Council (BNRSC), Abdul Mutalib Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yusof, and Associate Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman, who is the acting vice chancellor of ITB.
The Brunei Times