My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Electric Bicycles and Motorcycles next Big Jamaican trend by Christmas 2014 - How Backtracker and Rear View Cameras in the Road Traffic Act can help

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Electric Bicycles and Motorcycles next Big Jamaican trend by Christmas 2014 - How Backtracker and Rear View Cameras in the Road Traffic Act can help

Folks, get ready for this one: Electric Bicycles and Electric Motorcycles are going to be the next big trend in Transportation in Jamaica by Christmas 2014. They’re already commonplace in Taiwan and China, but the trend is picking up here in Jamaica.

That’s my big prediction as it relates to transportation in Jamaica as laid out in my blog article entitled “How to convert your Bicycle to an Electric Bicycle – Pedal Power is an amazing resource”, as with the increasing Oil Bill, any alternative to spending the equivalent of the cost of a Gasoline will be welcome for those living in the Inner City areas.

Especially as they can’t afford to spend their hard earned money from “hustling” on buying a Motor Vehicle in the First place! Amusingly, Sportscaster and Media personality Neville Bell can, being as he can so easily handed over his Audi to Simone Clarke Cooper on the Morning Time program Smile Jamaica and possibly buy another after his team Brazil got kicked out of the World Cup.


Lovin’ the gigantic Ribbon though!

Amusing Morning antics aside, Gasoline is as expensive as a 2 lb of Mixed parts downtown in the first place, something any resident of Swallowfield knows all too well. Also, for Swallowfield Residents, recharging an All-Electric Motorcycle or Bicycle is a lot cheaper, as many of them don’t even pay for Electricity in the First place.

So this trend towards Electric Bicycles and Electric Motorcycles, interestingly, will not start uptown, but Downtown. So what’s the Road Traffic Act have to say about Electric Bicycles and Electric Motorcycles Riders, especially as they’re so whisper quiet?

Road Traffic Act to ban Cellphone – Backtrack and Rear-View Camera Technology needs to be made standard

If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that a ban on the use of your cellphone is coming as stated in my blog article entitled “Road Traffic Act to be Amended to Ban Vehicular Cellphones and Tablet usage – HD CCTV Enforcement necessary as Legislation needs Teeth”.

When isn’t clear.

But the Amendment of the Road Traffic Act will also have to include amendments to other acts relating to the use of Video, Audio and Photographic Evidence as proof of a crime, in this case a Road Traffic Act Violation. This would pave the way for the Jamaica Constabulary Force aka Jamaican Police to use the Video, Audio and Photographic Evidence from Body Cameras, Dashboard Cameras mounted in their Police Vehicles and HD (High Definition) CCTV Cameras mounted at Traffic Light Intersections as evidence in lieu of a Witness.

This so long as the Jamaican Police can demonstrate to the Lay Magistrate or Resident Magistrate that their evidence wasn’t tampered with or altered in any way and are thus an accurate recording of events as they took place. But still, there needs to be amendments to the Road Traffic Act to also protect Citizens from themselves.

It’s good enough that Cellphone usage will be banned and action taken using these Cameras, with the Jamaican Police issuing Tickets electronically using Blackberry’s or other smartphones via specially designed App with License Plate Reading Technology. But as it relates to safety on the road, other things need to be implemented in order to make it safer for the increasing number of persons who’ll be opting to use Electric Bicycle and Electric Motorcycle as their mode of Transportation.

To that end, I’d recommend that the Road Traffic Act be amended to also make it mandatory that all vehicles have a build in Rear-View Cameras. This would be a move similar to Regulations passed by the NHTSA (U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to have all vehicles by Tuesday May 1st 2018, to have Rear-View Cameras installed by default as explained in my blog article entitled “NHTSA passes ruling for Car Manufacturers to install Rear-View Cameras by Tuesday May 1st 2018 - Self-Driving Cars First Steps as Jamaica falls behind in Vehicle Regulations”.

Rear-View Camera Kits can be purchased and installed by Vehicle owners so as to be compliant. If not, then the Jamaican Police would have one more thing to ticket Motorists for, as not having a Rear-View Camera would basically brand your vehicle as not being Roadworthy.

As for Electric Bicycles and Electric Motorcycles, the Road Traffic Act would be changed to mandate that these vehicles have some sound-making device on them, as their operation at times is so quiet as to make pedestrians unaware that they’re travelling so close to them.

In addition, Technology similar to the Rear-View Cameras should be use on Electric Bicycles and Electric Motorcycles as well, such as Rear-View Radar Backtracker developed by South African startup iKubu that can alert the Rider of obstacles behind approaching from behind as explained in “Backtracker gives cyclists radar eyes in back of their heads”, published July 7, 2014 By Drew Prindle, DigitalTrends.

As by then the Road Traffic Act would have been amended to make the Video, Audio and Photographic Evidence proof of a crime, it would result in reduced Deaths and safer Roads. Drivers would be more careful in a Rear-End collision or in Reversing, as their very-own State Mandated Cameras could be used against them in Traffic Court. This as the Video, Audio and Photographic Evidence would be stored inside of the vehicle in a built-in SSD (Solid State Drive) Hard-Drive in a sealed Black Box, readily accessible in the event of an accident.

This Black Box concept for Motor Vehicles would be a part of the Rear-View Camera package and would be the same type of Technology that would go into Google fleet of 100 Full-Autonomous All-Electric Vehicle that drive completely by themselves as explained in my blog article entitled “Google 100 strong Fully Autonomous All-Electric Vehicles launched – 25 mph Limit on AI Chauffeur in 2015 with Black Boxes makes Crashes like aeroplanes”.


All this seems a bit fantastic and in reality not readily implemented, due to the cost to motorists. Still, like the US NHTSA, it’s best to start early with planning to have this in place, as Jamaica’s Road Traffic Fatalities, given the small size of our island, should not be so high. So weighing the value of a life against the cost of these amendments to the Road Traffic Act, this may seem a small price to pay to reduce the total number of Road Traffic Fatalities well below the 300 mark.
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