In continuation to the series focusing on traffic and environment and its modern and crowd-sourcing based solutions, we bring light upon yet another name Traffic Alert. Traffic Alert is an initiative started by one that has turned to be a platform ‘for’ and ‘by’ many-serving probable solutions and prevention to traffic and helping the environment both directly and indirectly. Starting as a group in one of the most popular social Media, Facebook, the initiative was the brain child of North South University student and current Dhaka resident Safaat Nabil.
It was the outcome of the same desperation found common among the duelers of the grand city -Traffic! As Safaat himself describes, “I used to spend half of my days in the car and there is nothing to do during that time. So I used to visualize things and come up with random ideas during this painful time being stuck in the road. One day I was telling myself that if I knew this particular road was jammed up then I could have taken an alternative route and save so much time!”
Time is certainly the watchword in this case! With four times the fuel being lost by each car during each standstill, the cost of environmental damage and fuel costs contribute hugely to the total of $3 million dollars of national loss in traffic congestion. As mentioned in our previous article on rastarObosta, the measure this tantrum takes on the physical and mental health of human knows no bounds. “This traffic congestion is the root cause of noise pollution. Most of the motor vehicles especially buses, mini-buses and trucks have hydraulic horns and the drivers are trained to honk continuously till they get their ways clear.”, says Safaat, “This is very irritating and harmful for health as well. I get depressed just by thinking about getting out or being on the road for all these causes.”
To make this ‘getting out’ a bit easier and the proportionate relation of time with carbon footprint a bit less effective, Traffic Alert utilizes Facebook to connect around 19000 members (currently) inside and around Dhaka to deliver information on various traffic conditions. From prolonged signals to water logging or accidents, or even the ‘VIPs’ passing the roads, the group gives updates on various causes of traffic at different roads ‘posted’ by its members at intervals of 45 minutes to 2 hours. The replies in most case are instant and that too as part of conversations among the members themselves. This serves hugely to save time in case of traffic and evidently on carbon footprints.
Safaat Nabil is a thinker and believes that, “We as a society need to work together for the betterment of the country.” He intends to bring better outcomes through this initiative of his.
Traffic Alert has been an effective platform for addressing traffic problems. It also saved time, fuel and of course has helped the environment. How it’s potentials can be enhanced to bring better outcomes is something to be seen in time.