A GPS-equipped monitoring centre will be established in Naypyitaw to ensure the safety of the passenger buses along the Yagon-Mandalay highway, according to captain Nay Win of the Office of Highway Police.
The plan, which aims to ensure accidents receive immediate aid and better enforce traffic regulations, will be initiated by this month. All the relevant bus lines have been notified regarding the new measure, he said.
“By using GPS systems, we’ll be aware on a real time basis when an emergency such as a crash or any other problem arises on the Yangon-Naypyitaw highway. That’s why the system is being implemented,” Nay Win told Myanmar Business Today.
The 336-mile highway, often dubbed as the “death highway” because of the high occurrence of accidents along it, connects Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon with the country’s capital Naypyitaw and the second-largest city Mandalay. The highway was opened in March 2009 and till the end of 2013, there have been a total of 337 deaths and 710 injuries.
The control centre for the GPS will be stationed in Naypyitaw where plans are also being developed for emergency response and traffic rule enforcement.
“This GPS monitoring system for the passenger buses is really necessary. The officials can provide their support in time when traffic accidents or emergencies occur,” Ko Min Tay Za, manager of Moe Htet Arkar express bus line told Myanmar Business Today.
Currently, only 41 miles of the road among 336 miles of the highway are surfaced with coal tar. Union minister for construction U Soe Tint recently told a parliament session that the ministry would completely revamp a 36.3-mile stretch during 2014-15 financial year.
The Ministry of Construction is currently upgrading the highway with financial and technical assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and USAID.