Government develops buses GPS tracking system
Minister of Transport Jacob Hara has said the government, through the Department of Innovation and E-government, is developing a GPS tracking system for buses to ensure that operators observe speed limits.
Hara, through his spokesperson, Kelvin Sato said the government has so far developed terms of references which will help in the actualisation of the system expected to fully rollout within the next 60 days.
The directive followed a road accident which claimed the lives of two students from Mary Mount Secondary School.
The tracking system will be mandatory.
Sato said for a start they have re-introduced logbooks to address issues of over speeding of buses in the country.
“Just a few weeks ago, we reintroduced the logbooks, a system that was there but was abandoned. Here buses record time when they are starting off and they are checked along the way to their destination, whether Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu or Karonga.
“Obviously, not everyone will be happy with a policy like this one but there has been a very good reception from the operators and as a government we are optimistic that when the GPS trackers will be introduced, everyone will comply,” he said.
With the GPS system the ministry will have a central control room to monitor the buses on speed.
Public Transporters Association (PTA) of Malawi member Coaxley Kamange said the GPS system would be expensive as compared to the log books which they are buying at K3,000.
Kamange suggested that speed governors are much better than GPS because when a vehicle hits its speed limit it automatically slows down.
“The GPS system has a lot of challenges because the vehicles will be monitored centrally which is not easy. But on our part we are encouraging members to buy the log books which are efficient and cheap,” he said
Commenting on the minister’s policy shift, Roads Safety Alert Executive Director Joel Jere said the move is welcome, asking the government to extend it to minibuses and other public transport vehicles that operate in long distances.