Czech Government expected to approve ‘smart transportation’ plan
Over the next four years, Czech highways and roads (but also railway routes and waterways) will be equipped with thousands of new electronic sensors and other devices including additional electronic traffic management signs to better inform users about developments and conditions ahead. The government is aiming to spend some 12 billion crowns on new modern management and information systems by the year 2020; with seemingly endless renovation of major highways like the D1 connecting Prague and Brno, there are likely many motorists who wish the improvements had been implemented already.
New modernized systems in traffic information and management should make it easier for users to navigate the country’s main roads, learning earlier of developments in advance, to avoid, helping drivers avoid slow-moving traffic jams. It is not uncommon during peak periods for lines of cars on roads to stretch several kilometres, with delay times reaching anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Transport Minister Dan ?ok told financial daily Hospodá?ské noviny that the aim was to get information to motorists faster so they could react in time and choose alternate routes when possible. The minister is due this Wednesday to present a proposal covering some 70 projects to the government, costing an estimated 12 billion crowns. Half of that is reportedly to come from European funds.
The ‘smart transport’ proposal is expected to get backing from the cabinet. If the plan is approved and goes ahead, the minister says that motorists will gain access more quickly to up-to-date information. Data is to flow more quickly, in a streamlined format to the National Traffic Control and Transport Information Centre in Ostrava; some sensors, Hospodá?ské noviny writes, will be capable of automatically updating information on electronic boards on the their own, meaning that warnings, for example, of ice ahead or the need to adjust one’s speed, should be more up to the minute. In the future, vehicles on the road will be more and more equipped to process the information directly on the dashboard, making the planned improvements even more convenient.
New camera equipment and sensors in the future are also expected to help traffic police, with software capable of recording and processing registration numbers on license plates in the case of so-called road pirates. Anyone putting motorists at risk through speeding and highly-negligent or reckless behavior behind the wheel may become easier to catch.
Other sensors, embedded in the road surface, will reveal trucks that have been loaded over allowed limits. Overloaded trucks, anyone who has ever driven on the right lane of the D1 or other major throughways in the country can attest impact Czech roads greatly, rendering large stretches of road in the right lines almost unusable for regular vehicles. Traffic signs in places warn of ‘deep tracks’ marring the road surface; with intelligent transportation, it is hoped, such badly damaged lanes, too, could eventually become far less common.