Big Brother for B2

ARANDIS

27 July 2018 | Infrastructure

Leandrea Louw

Arandis will soon be home to the Arandis Emergency Response and Traffic Management Centre (AERTMC) where an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) will be implemented.

ITS is the application of sensing, analysis, control and communications technologies to transportation in order to improve safety, mobility and efficiency.

According to Eugene Tendekule, executive secretary of the National Road Safety Council, ITS will have four main focal areas.

“The system will be able to provide us with early detection of an accident, the accurate location of an accident as well as confirmation if the accident happened. It will be able to dispatch appropriate support, and observe and assist where needed through CCTV surveillance. Another area to be focused on will be hazardous material, where ITS will provide us with the appropriate response, co-ordination with mining, trucking and transport operators and be able to identify dangerous materials on the road. A specialized response team and vehicles will also be set-up,” said Tendekule.

The project has been divided into three phases. Phase one has been set aside for the feasibility study, the second phase will be the construction of the centre which might cost about N$20 million, and phase three will be the roll-out of the ITS technology system, which might cost between N$90 million and N$100 million. The feasibility study will determine the correct figures.

The ITS technology system includes the use of CCTV cameras, weigh-in-motion, radar measurements, variable message signs, number plate recognition and weather stations.

“The system will be able to recognise number plates and even prompt you on the billboards to drive correctly or not to overtake at a certain point. It will also be able to interact through social media, by posting notices on various social media platforms,” said Tendekule.

At a recent fundraising gala dinner held in Walvis Bay, 10 000 hectares of land was donated by the Arandis Town Council which amounts to N$840 000 where construction of the centre will take place. Swakop Uranium pledged N$500 000, Erongo Red pledged electricity worth N$13 000, Erongo Regional Council pledged N$180 000, along with N$200 000 made in pledges by individuals and various companies.

The governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua, mentioned that the promotion of road safety in Namibia is becoming a complex issue that should not be left in the hands of a single entity, let alone in the hands of the government.

“Namibia’s road fatality rate continues to spiral out of control and is now standing at about 33.22/100 000 inhabits, way above the African continental average at 26.6/100 000 inhabitants. The in-depth analysis of crash data further reveals that the majority of road crashes and incidents in Namibia are largely due to the carelessness of road users especially drivers.

"The understanding between the National Road Safety Council and the minister responsible for transport, alluded that the situation can be corrected. This can be done if effective new and innovative technologies are acquired and implemented to improve compliance on the part of the road users and effective emergency response systems. In terms of regional accident/crash distribution, Khomas tops all the regions followed by Erongo and Oshana,” said Mutjavikua.

The AERTMC will be a multi-functional centre, which will house traffic management, emergency response and dispatch, Hazmat response, traffic surveillance, monitoring and control room services, as well as a fire station.

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