Egypt to install smart system on roads nationwide

Ahmed Morsy , Wednesday 8 Jul 2020

A network of cameras will be installed to monitor traffic and record violations

high way road in Egypt
(Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's transport minister Kamel El-Wazir discussed during a meeting with transport officials on Wednesday means to implement a smart system for roads nationwide, a statement by the transport ministry said.

The move is part of a government plan aimed at improving road safety in the country.

The project's first phase includes six highways: the Cairo-Suez road, Cairo-Ismailia-Port Said road, the Regional Ring Road, Katameya-Ain Sokhna road, Shubra-Benha freeway and Cairo-Alexandria desert road, the ministry said.

The number of roads where the new system will be applied will rise to 20 in the project's second phase.

During Wednesday's meeting, transport officials, including head of the National Road Company Magdy Anwar, discussed the project's financing plan and the suitable timeframe for its implementation, the statement added without providing further details.

"All roads joining the smart system will be monitored by a network of cameras that monitors traffic 24/7... and registers any violations," the minister said.

The new system will help regulate drivers' behaviour, improve road safety, reduce traffic accidents and tighten control on roads, the minister added.

Last month, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi urged officials to adopt modern technology to monitor roads, including the use of monitoring cameras to curb violations, ensure smooth traffic and improve road safety.

He said a new system for recording driving violations will be adopted, whereby short messages will be instantly sent to drivers on their mobile phones to notify them about their violations.

Egypt has allocated billions of pounds to developing and expanding road networks in recent years after a national project for road development was launched by El-Sisi in 2014, with the goal of building and upgrading 7,000km of highways costing EGP 175 billion ($10.9 billion). Almost 4,500km are now complete, according to figures provided by the transport ministry.

Deadly road crashes take place near daily in Egypt, but efforts to upgrade roads have been ongoing in recent years.

The number of road accidents fell by around 30 percent in 2019 to 9,992, down from 14,403, according to data from the country's official statistics agency CAPMAS.

In 2019, Egypt was ranked 28th in terms of the quality of road infrastructure in the World Economic Forum's Global Competitive Report, up from the 118th place in 2014. The government had attributed the improved ranking to mega road projects implemented in the country in recent years. 

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