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How an app is making roads safer for users in Ghana

Road accident is one of the leading health problems along with diseases such as Diarrhoea, Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, especially in low- and middle-income countries, according to a 2013 report by the World Health Organization.

In many African countries making the road safe has become increasingly challenging.

In Ghana road safety officials have said that road traffic injuries account for a large number of trauma admissions to hospitals.

Most of these accidents are human related factors usually due to reckless driving and over speeding.

But a group of young Ghanaians has developed an app that is to help report road traffic offences and help reduce road crashes.

Fredrick Oti Mensah, a software developer with Million Solutions Ghana, the Ghanaian tech company that developed the app said it is well designed to assist road safety officials fight reckless driving on the roads.

With a well-designed system police officers get notified of any road traffic offences for immediate action.

Mensah told Africa Feeds that “The police patrol cars would have tablets fixed in their vehicles.

These tablets will have applications installed on them specifically designed to receive these reports that are coming in.

Every report that is coming in, comes in and it goes to every police vehicle, within ten kilometre range from the location where the report came from. As soon as they receive the report they know where the report came from.”

The police are expected to respond to the reports they receive from the app soon once a deal is signed between the developers and the Ghana police service.

Called the RoadTop-Mobile app, it is available on the Google play store and currently has over one thousand downloads with most users already reporting of over speeding to road safety agencies.

Road safety agencies excited

According statistics from Ghana’s Road safety commission on average 1,700 people are killed each year on the road.

Most road accidents according to the commission are caused by over speeding and reckless driving.

There are however only a few officials available to check some of these offences according to the commission’s spokesperson.

Kwame Atuahene who speaks for the commission told Africa Feeds that getting citizens involved through technology to help report cases is essential.

RoadTop app Ghana
The hope is that the App helps to reduce road carnage in Ghana. Photo: RoadTop / Facebook

Atuahene said “In spite of the education, in spite of the speed limits, awareness levels, people get on the road and they do otherwise.

But if there is a way that on the individual level the guy in the bus can observe, my driver is speeding and find ways to put that information across so that by the time you get to the next barrier if you need to be arrested that will be done.”

Atuahene also revealed that once there are available tools to keep drivers and road users on their toes, the road will be safer for users.

Users give verdict

Already some road users who are using the Road top app are impressed.

Emmanuel Gbikpo who is a driver told Africa Feeds that “It’s a very useful app because sometimes I get scared its not that I am not a good driver.

I am a good driver but often you get people scratching you because they don’t to follow traffic, they want to drive on the shoulder of the road.”

He adds that “and you also don’t have the luxury of parking and reporting them to police officer or any law enforcement officer on duty. Even just the mind-set that an app is there that would get you arrested for violating road traffic regulations, I think it’s important.”

The app does not only allow users to report reckless driving, over speeding and other traffic offences.

Oti Mensah says there are options to also report of home burgling and fire outbreaks for quick assistance.

“You are in your home, armed robbers are in your home you can possibly have time to call the law enforcement agencies especially the police so what happens is we are giving you the opportunity that with a single button click you will be able to report that incident to the police.

So you don’t need to tell them where you are, once it gets to them they will know where you are and find you,” Mensah said.

The young group of developers is hoping this could be the beginning of making citizens safe on the road and at home through technology.



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