Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) says it is conducting a process of installing Global Positioning System (GPS) gadgets on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) to monitor their speed.

In an interview, when he was called to explain the GPS installation tender, RTSA head of public relations Frederick Mubanga said so far, 150 gadgets had been installed and that the agency planned to install about 500 by the end of 2019.

“The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a mechanism that is used to monitor the speed at which Public Service vehicles are moving. The Road Transport and Safety Agency realised that one of the major causes of road traffic accidents especially among public service vehicles is the issues to do with excessive speed. So to mitigate this problem, there is a law in place which is SI 78 of 2016 which entails that all public service vehicles especially long-distance should have GPS put in place. But of course in some areas which needed to be addressed before the law is implemented. So the agency has procured the services for the installation of the GPS system of public service vehicles [or] long-distance buses that will be interlinked with the RTSA control centre,” Mubanga explained.

“So, if we install a GPS system on a vehicle, we will monitor the speed at which the PSV is moving on our strings as RTSA which we call the control centre. If the driver is driving above a specified speed limit in that area, our system will be able to pick it up and then we will need to notify the operator to get in touch with the driver to minimise the speed or the conduct of drivers, unlike waiting for an accident to happen. We have concentrated on Public service vehicles because these vehicles are mass carries. They carry a lot of people and if an accident happens, the risk of losing a huge number of people at once is very high.”

Mubanga said the move had been received well by PSV operators.

“We have so far installed close to 150 gadgets and our plan is to reach a maximum of 500 before the end of the year. The system has been received very well by operators. This system is in the best interest of safeguarding the lives of the traveling public and a broader strategy in terms of approaching how best we can bring sanity, especially among public service vehicles.,”he said.

Asked when the tender for the project was advertised and if it was under the Intelligence Mobility Solution (IMS) Road Safety Management Concession, Mubanga said a different company was awarded the contract.

“The GPS system has got nothing to do with IMS. The parameters in which IMS is being implemented are totally different. The conditions under the contract for IMS and the GPS are totally different. So, don’t confuse GPS with the speed cameras or the IMS project. This is separate from that,” said Mubanga.

“You think an institution like RTSA can do tendering single-handedly find an operator or a bidder to do such kind of work? This tender was advertised and of course, successful bidders were successful and Citrack is the one that is handling this issue. Of course, it was a competitive bidding that was undertaken. To the best of our knowledge, I think the necessary procurement processes were done. The advertisement was done last year and the process of installation of GPS started this year.”