MINISTER of Transport and Local Government Frankie Campbell was recently given a proposal on a proposed traffic public safety system for the Bahamas which company representatives say aims to reduce vehicular accidents, injuries, death and property damage.
The proposal by Bahamian company Intelligent Enforcement (IntelEnforce) came after Mr Campbell held a press briefing in late July where he announced statistics for road traffic accidents and deaths.
Donavan Paul, CEO of IntelEnforce, who proposed the new traffic public safety system to the minister, senior members of the Ministry of Transport and Local Government and the Road Safety Committee, and the Royal Bahamas Police Force, said the system could become an essential part of the Road Traffic Department's modernisation started in October 2016.
"This modern traffic public safety system will deter traffic violators through computerising and automating traffic enforcement, adding to the government's public safety initiatives," he said.
The company is proposing a digital surveillance camera-based system to improve road safety. The proposed system would record the speed of a vehicle per lane, provide a video recording of the entire scene and take two still pictures. The system can also offer an electronic ticket, based on the offence.
Mr Paul pointed out that while many of the positive effects of automating traffic enforcement are anecdotal, it can't be denied that the awareness that there might be cameras on any given roadway tracking speed, tends to affect the psychology of many drivers.
"Motorists who would otherwise not be cautious tend to think twice about speeding, especially in urban areas and school zones," Mr Paul said. "Fewer accidents reduces the strain on our already overtaxed societal infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, our blood bank, relatives, employment, emergency and social services, and the cost of insurance."
Mr Paul said that the proposal calls for a public private partnership (PPP) and would alleviate the government of expected high upfront costs.
"The most successful implementations to date for this type of initiative are established through public private partnerships. In this case government would make a small initial commitment, and the bulk cost is initially covered by the private sector and then returned before both share in the responsibility and returns going forward. During a recent month-long test period, our computerised records recorded $1.2 million dollars of road misdemeanours on just one of our roads. As a PPP, revenue from offenders' tickets is split 50-50 with the government," said Mr Paul.
"Considering the revenue projections attached to the one-month pilot test we did on one stretch of road near our office in central New Providence, we believe the government could recover any initial stake or investment in about a year and garner an immediate effect on the public safety on the roads of New Providence without having to worry about management costs or hardware expansion."
IntelEnforce operates as a local Infrastructure management and service provider delivering industry security standards to their installations.