A group of Egyptian engineers have launched Emokhalfa, a new initiative aiming to eliminate driving violations in the streets of Egypt.
The initiative is a crowd sourcing platform, which enables citizens to report driving and traffic violations.
“Egyptians spend an average of an hour and a half in different means of transportation every day, witnessing lots of traffic violations. Our aim is to encourage citizens to report any violations they see. All they have to do is to get the registration plate number of vehicles committing violations, and then report the number to us,” said Mohamed El Hagry, co-founder of Emokhalfa initiative.
On the legality of such action, Emad Mubarak, human rights lawyer, asserted that there is nothing illegal about reporting plate numbers of vehicles, and reports on the scheme won’t be handed to the police.
El Hagry added it is possible people could be reported unfairly. However, he said if someone was reported for only one violation then the impact would be minimal, if someone was reported by lots of people, and that would prove the validity of their violations. He also denoted that some citizens were able to take photos of violations, which verify its validity.
The initiative allows contributors to use several technological methods to report violations. They have created a website, Twitter account, Facebook page, and a hot line for reporting violations. They have also developed an Android application, which is currently at the beta testing level.
The website allows users to check for violations conducted by any vehicle, by entering the vehicle registration plate number. The founders of the initiative said that this would enable corporate and school managers to monitor the performance of their drivers, in order to take the necessary procedures with drivers conducting violations.
“The ability to check violations would pressure drivers to avoid violations, as the whole population of Egypt might know about their actions, which would eventually affect their reputation. Citizens could boycott microbus drivers conducting many violations, while others wouldn’t buy a certain car if its owner appeared to be conducting driving violations,” said Wael Khalifa, co-founder of Emokhalfa initiative.
The initiative also aims to fight sexual harassment, through reporting the plate numbers of drivers who harass women.
“We are aiming to raise social awareness about the dangers of driving violations, which would eventually create societal pressure on those conducting violations, as police forces would never be able to stop such huge numbers of daily violations occurring all around Egypt, that’s why we decided to have a positive impact on our society, by founding this initiative,” said El Hagry.
Emokhalfa are currently in the process of reaching a bi-lateral agreement with the Road Safety Authority.
Elmokhalfa can be reached onwww.emokhalfa.com.