Student invents new technology to reduce road accidents

Fiston Rutikanga, a graduate from Institute of Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali has invented a device that he hopes will curb down cases of drink driving that are among the causes of road accidents in the country.
Fiston Rutikanga with his gadget. Courtesy.
Fiston Rutikanga with his gadget. Courtesy.

Fiston Rutikanga, a graduate from Institute of Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali has invented a device that he hopes will curb down cases of drink driving that are among the causes of road accidents in the country.

The 20 year old student who specialized in Motor Vehicle Mechanics createda software that detects alcohol intake by drivers and stops the car engine.

It detects the alcohol quantity from the driver’s breath and automatically stops the vehicle.

“If a driver attempts to start the engine while under influence of alcohol, the car will stop,” he explains.

Rutikanga exhibited his software ‘Safety driving with technology’ at Gikondo expo ground during a three day exhibition of the Kicukiro Private Sector.

The new technology took him one year to conduct research and set it up. He also tested the technology for another year.

“The occurrence of accidents in Rwanda inspired me to try and find a solution to accidents, and when I tried, it worked after several attempts,” Rutikanga said.

Rutikanga hopes that the device will help curb the number of road accidents and also create employment for youth.

“Sometimes the drivers may not control themselves when under the influence of alcohol. But just like speed governors have helped reduced over-speeding, this technology could solve cases of drunk driving.

I am currently in search of an investor to further develop this technology to be able to control all the gadgets on one computer,” he says.

Latest figures from traffic police indicate that between August and October last year, 162 people were killed in road accidents, driving under the influence being among the causes.

A few years ago, the traffic police introduced the breathalyzer popularly known as ‘alco-test’, which is used to test for alcohol levels in drivers.

Traffic Spokesperson, Jean Marie VianneyNdushabandi, however says that the traffic police is ready to welcome this new technology to ease their work in tracking down drunk drivers once it’s ready to start its operations.

“We are willing to work with Rutikanga once his device is ready for operation. Once the device is certified by Rwanda Standards Board, and a law allowing us to use it is regulated, we will be more than happy to work with him,” he said.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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