System to track, ensure wellness of truckers

By Tracy Tafirenyika

SOUTHERN Africa Development Community (SADC) and the Namibian government have initiated the development of a Corridor Trip Monitoring System (CTMS) that aims to maintain and track all truck drivers who come in and out Namibia from different countries

The system, designed as a migratory tool to prevent the spread of Covid-19 was funded by the European Union to the tune of 3.6 million euros (around N$68,7 million).

Speaking to Confidente this week, Trans Kalahari Corridor (TKC) Chief Executive Officer, Leslie Mpofu indicated that the CTMS will be implemented in conjunction with the Tripartite Transport Registers and Information Platform System (TRIPS) using its infrastructure platform.

“TRIPS will complement the CTMS functionally to enable cross boarder road transport operators, drivers, regulators, and law enforcement agents to record and monitor driver wellness and track driver movements against pre-approved route plans. The CTMS will be done on the corridor that runs through South Africa, Botswana and Namibia which will benefit Namibia to a greater extent. This will also reduce the social distancing among Namibians because their documents at each check point will be reviewed digitally.

“Namibia is going to benefit a lot when it comes to the CTMs because it will allow vehicles to be tracked every time and anywhere within SADC. We will be able to know the period of how long the truck driver will take to clear. CTMS will also have capability for drivers to see whether the drivers have valid Covid-19 certificates. This will help us to get information very fast especially with the applications that we are going to introduce in their phones and it will only apply during their working time,” he said

Furthermore, Mpofu highlighted that, the system is not yet launched in Namibia but it will start with the piloting in the coming two weeks after which it will be implemented.

In its roll-out, officers will have access to the trip, operators, drivers and vehicle records by scanning the 2D barcode on the operator disk, vehicle certificate of fitness (COF) disc, driving licence or PrDP card by using a compliant TRIPS handheld device. Test results, test date, time, and location together with other symptomatic information is uploaded to the CTMS using the TRIPS handheld device. TRIPS/CTMS will manage compliance along all corridors in Tripartite Member States.

Only cleared vehicles will proceed to the border, while vehicles in which a single crew member tests positive will not proceed. Screening of vehicles will be automated using the CTMS and the number of re-tests or new tests to be performed at the checkpoint will be limited to drivers that presented symptoms or drivers with expired negative Covid-19 test results.

“All vehicles to be used for cross-border transport must be equipped with an on-board or embedded satellite navigation system or operator installed vehicle tracking system that must be able to provide vehicle tracking information to the CTMS upon request.

“To further enable improved location tracking, operators are required to issue and register mobile phones for each crew member on the CTMS. Prescribed mobile applications must be installed on the smartphone that will include location tracking and health screening applications. Crew members must record and upload their wellbeing twice daily on the CTMS. Time based history of route followed by vehicle, including locations where vehicle stopped and time based history driver movements,” implementation documents seen by Confidente state.