Traffic congestion in Accra is a daily phenomenon, having its peak between the hours of 7:00 am – 9:30 am and 4:30 pm – 8:00pm.
This situation is usually caused by various factors, however this article will be centered on the inability of traffic lights to adapt to real time traffic demands and prioritize lanes accordingly.
In an event of a power cut, road users are usually susceptible to stressful and chaotic moments due to the lack of power backup systems to keep the current traffic running effectively. The traffic lights go off whenever there is no power and when the police are not available, the road users are left to do the maths themselves.
There have been cases of people who were victims of phone snatching and robbery simply because they were waiting on the red light to change at hours as late as 11:00pm when very limited cars are on the road.
This indeed is a very sad situation in the country, however, these intelligent traffic systems, if properly deployed can save the time spent on the road, save motorists from such dangers, as well as help people get to work on time hence increasing productive hours.
With the rise of Artificial Intelligence software and its inevitable dominance in the near future, Ghana as a country can take advantage of some readily available technologies like traffic sensors used in the intelligent traffic control systems. One good example of such technology is the adaptive traffic control system developed by a company called InSync.
Although there are various manufacturers of this technology, a survey of adaptive traffic control users published by HDR, Inc. in 2010 titled “Adaptive Traffic Control Systems in the United States” ranked the InSync system number one in a variety of measures including affordability, up-time, maintenance, and reduction in stops, delay and travel time.
These intelligent systems mostly use IP video cameras and sensors to enable traffic lights adapt to real-time traffic demands. The system uses integrated digital sensors to count the exact number of cars demanding services at an intersection and their waiting time. This also provides approaching vehicles with right of way, based on this queue and delay data.
With emerging renewable energy companies such as CITSYS, Ghana, I believe has a slew of fine and untapped potential in its citizenry hence, getting additional power backup for traffic control systems is achievable.
Therefore, a government that is committed to fighting vehicular congestion on our roads, can readily find all the support and expertise needed locally to develop one of these systems in-house, or make a purchase decision. If we incorporate technologies as such, it is my conviction that the terrible traffic situation in Accra if not solved, could be mitigated.
Thank you guys for reading, be sure to come back for another interesting yet enlightening articles…
Written by: FRANCIS ASEMPA ATTACHIE BOBI.