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Coping with congestion on the roads: Traffic attack

April 3, 2013, 11:35 a.m. » press , traffic

In an article with the above title, the Ceylon Daily News says:

Ever observed a group of ants moving in a single line? Ever wondered why they do not get caught up in their own traffic? Ants certainly seem to know how to keep their trails from clogging up with too many jams. How come we don't?

The Daily News article also goes onto discuss some of the environmental and economic damage caused by congestion.

Though scientists are only beginning to understand the basic biology of car exhaust's toxic neural effects, according to neurochemist Annette Kirshner at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina, “There is real cause for concern,” as pubic-health studies and laboratory experiments suggest that, at every stage of life, traffic fumes exact a measurable toll on mental capacity, intelligence and emotional stability. As roadways choke on traffic, researchers suspect that the tailpipe exhaust from cars and trucks-especially tiny carbon particles could lead to heart disease, cancer, respiratory ailments as well as cause damages to brain cells.

Bad for us, bad for Mother Nature too. It comes as no surprise to learn that motor vehicles are one of the largest sources of pollution worldwide and that areas with the largest number of cars on the road see higher levels of air pollution on average.

And now we get to the really interesting bit.

The best way to do so would be by harnessing modern technology that would help commuters to make each others' journeys congestion-free through interaction with each other. In an era when smart phone apps and cloud based services are making life easier in every arena of life, it is surely high time that a solution for road congestion too should be only a finger tip's distance away in the form of an app.

“Aside from the usual tasks of calling and texting, the apps we download into our phones have made us able to accomplish tasks that we could not have imagined doing while we are on the road, a few years back” says Director - Marketing, at road.lk., Madhavi Boralessa. Like ants who keep each other informed of what is happening ahead of them through direct or indirect messages, users of the traffic app introduced a few months ago by road.lk have now begun to help each other beat heavy traffic all over Sri Lanka. All commuters who have a GPS-enabled Android phone can download road.lk's free Traffic Alerts app, to find out about the 'traffic hot-spots' all over the country based on the data sent by on the spot traffic observers, i.e other commuters. Those who do not have the required phones can still log onto the road.lk website for free information before they leave home, so that they would know which roads are blocked, which roads are fairly free of congestion.

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