I have lived in Lagos enough to have dreams for the city, as an engineer and a psychologist, most of my dreams are about how to leverage on technology to innovate and solve my problems. Traffic on Lagos road is one of my greatest challenges as a commute; I hate being on traffic. My solution is called Disincentive Road Construct (DRC) and below is a brief about it.
Maybe like in other cities, traffic on Lagos roads are caused by the following:
- Quantity of cars; because the public transport system is not premium enough for those with their private cars
- State of the roads; maybe the government has other priorities or no incentive to upgrade the roads at scale, and no data to suggest which routes need repair, expansion, diversion, or construction
- Driving ethics; where there is no incentive for good behavior, humans can abuse the system
- State of the cars; no adequate regulation or checks on the state of cars permitted to use the roads. Vehicles breaking down on our roads is very common
- Blind routes; if from point A to B has 5 routes, and we have 20 drivers at point A, there are chances that all the drivers would use almost same route, while some would be free
- Bad personnel; there is corruption in the land, offenders bribe their way out and the cycle continues
Over the years, we have heard and read about many proposed solutions to the traffic situation in Lagos: build more roads, work from home, etc; but none of the solutions solves for all the problems listed above.
DRC is one platform that can reduce the traffic level to a bearable minimum, by simply creating an incentive for the government (democratizing the Toll-Gate model to all the roads) with respect to the roads and removing the incentive for private car users. Lagos state alone has about 5million cars on its roads as of 2017, with over 117,000 daily vehicular traffic on third mainland bridge alone.
Imagine that, as a car owner, you need to pay N5.00 for every minute you spend on a good road and N1.00 on a bad road. With DRC, when approved by the government can offer the following solutions:
- Quantity of cars; when you spend an average of 60mins on the road every day, after 20 days you would have paid N6,000 to the government as Road Tax. Most would park their cars
- Status of the roads; with intelligent data, government can tell and then upgrade roads that need attention, because she would want all users to be paying the N5.000 as against N2.00 per minute
- Driving ethics; DRC Score would be useful to insurance companies, HR agencies, law enforcement and all relevant bodies that would need to see how well each driver behaved on the roads
- State of the cars; if there is a fine for OVERLOADING or OVERSPEEDING, DRC debits your wallet when these thresholds are exceeded, and it accurately reports to the car owner the status of the car, incase care is needed
- Blind routes; DRC is otherwise called the Road god, which suggests that it sees all at the same time and can suggest and direct aright
- Bad personnel; DRC would minimize personnel to driver contact. This means that the policing, judging, fining, debiting and reporting are documented transparently for reference purposes automatically
Which way forward? It would take less than 12 months to have the system ready for use, at least for any serious government and as long as upwards of 60% of the road users are DRC enabled, the effect would be reflected almost immediately.
This solution is ideal for states like Lagos, Rivers, Kano or Kaduna and any populated or urban cities that need to check there road traffic; but while implementing DRC, a premium means of transportation would need to be in place, to attend to those that parked their cars at home.