The Oromia Transport Authority (OTA) is in the final stages of implementing a point-based penalty system for traffic violations.
Daf-tec Computer Engineering supplied the technology after being awarded the project by the Authority. The traffic penalty calculation system will be on pilot within a month.
The Authority purchased the new system to implement the national regulation of using the point-based system for traffic penalties, according to Israel Debele, an information technology expert at the Authority.
Used in most of the developed worlds, traffic offences are logged to amount to points within the system. Traffic police officers will be able to access a driver’s record through Short Message System (SMS ) codes or the internet.
Drivers that have earned the maximum demerit points can face penalties, from suspension for a limited period to the revocation of a license.
The Authority had been trying to implement this system since last year. It had put out restrictive bids, as well as an initial bid that turned out to be unsuccessful for lack of enough companies showing interest.
A second bid was floated on March 3, 2018, where four companies bought the bidding document. Only three submitted their bidding documents, with one failing the technical evaluation stage.
Daf-tec offered the least price of 6.5 million Br for the hardware and software supply of the new technology. The company, which employs 14 permanent workers, also carried out the same service for the transport authorities of Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations, Nationalities & People’s regions.
The first of the regions to implement the point-based system was Amhara two years ago. Since then, 3,000 drivers’ licenses have been revoked after reaching the maximum number of penalties.
“But these drivers can obtain a different license in another region that has not yet been integrated into the system,” Social Beyene, founder of Daf-tec, said.
With its close to 300,000 drivers’ license information, Oromia Transport Authority’s addition to the list will be a step towards a nationwide point-based penalty system, according to Israel.
“The new system will be fully implemented before the end of the current fiscal year,” he added. “It will also help fight malpractice by the traffic officers.”
For a traffic police to learn of a previous record, the present traffic offence has to be entered. The records of drivers are kept at a central server at the Authority’s head office.
“As traffic offences only result in hundreds of Birr of penalty drivers discipline and care for a private and public property has been low,” Habtamu Melese (PhD), founding CEO of Lucy Consulting Engineers that has carried out researches in traffic safety, told Fortune.
Misusing the technology can result in wrongful termination of a driver’s license thus frequent training must be given to traffic police personnel, according to him.
The Authority has begun giving training to 2,500 traffic police enforcers on how to use the technology this week, with a plan to purchase the appropriate devices for traffic officers for the coming fiscal year. This is for the Oromia State that has the highest number of vehicles only next to Addis Abeba, at over 100,000.
“Exhaustive announcements must be made through the media so that drivers can take precautionary measures to avoid mistakes,” Habtamu added.
The system is also in use in African countries such as Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.
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