Developed by innovators in Cameroon, Safe Travel is a free phone app which works as a monitoring system called ‘traveler’. It is designed for passengers and users offering a platform and data system showing a traveler’s location. This is used to notify families and road safety or emergency teams if a traffic incident occurs.
This free phone app, which is available on Google Play, has three principle functions. Firstly, it works as a monitoring system: Once a user downloads, installs and creates a ‘traveler account’, this person can enter the trip they are undertaking and provide information on whom to contact in an emergency. Secondly, the details on the matriculation number of the bus are also logged. When the passenger clicks on send, the information comes to the Safe Travel server and a file is created with the bus matriculation number. This file then consists of names of relatives and their contacts who can locate his/her position during a journey, as well as report an incident or make a complaint such as reckless driving by the bus driver.
A third aspect ensures that passengers and users can log on during their journey to check their location in real time. When launched, the app relays the location of the passenger to the server by use of Google localization tools. This is to aid intervention or emergency teams during incidents if need be, and also inform relatives and also local hospitals to prepare them.
If the icon for reports/complaints registers an occurrence, and the user registers the matriculation number of the bus involved, this section also permits the user to upload pictures to accompany complaints/reports. Emergency measures can then be taken depending on the nature of the report/complaint, such as a bus being stopped.
The safe travel project aims at providing a coordinated response to help reduce road accidents prevalent in the region and surrounding areas, and eventually provide help when it occurs.
A number of strategies have been carried out by different governments to reduce road accidents. According to the zero draft resolution published by the World Health Organization in 2015, over 1.24 million people die from road accidents and as many as 10 million people are seriously injured every year. The same report shows that 90% of the casualties occur in developing countries. In Cameroon, for instance, the Yaoundé-Douala highway is currently ranked amongst the deadliest in the world with an average of 130 people dying each month and 15753 being injured or incapacitated. This is exacerbated by the fact that notifying authorities of misconduct on the highway is difficult and road safety and emergency teams receive reports when it is too late meaning slow response times and inadequate tools to deal with the situation. Further, when an accident occurs, it becomes impossible to notify the families of victims with relatives being contacted days later.
This free app and powerful server can help combat this situation. The company has 17,114 users and has received 4,005 driving complaints, and 233 warnings to date. This has resulted in 16 sanctions being issued. The app has further recorded 3 accidents and informed 71 families.
Publicly available: Yes
Countries where available: Worldwide
Price range: Free