Mon, Jun 08, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Suhua Highway alert system trial set for November

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The Directorate-General of Highways said it plans to conduct a trial of its cell-broadcasting service in November to warn drivers about disaster-prone sections on the Suhua Highway.

The service would send early warnings to drivers on the highway via their mobile phones about 5km to 10km before they enter a high-risk section.

The highway is one of the most disaster-prone roadways in the nation during the plum rain or typhoon seasons.

The cell-broadcasting service has previously only been available to Chunghwa Telecom customers, as it was the first carrier to use the system, the directorate said.

However, the National Communications Commission now requires all fourth-generation (4G) telecoms to provide the service, so Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone Telecommunications, Taiwan Star and Asia-Pacific Telecom must begin notifying their customers.

If the results of the trial go well, the directorate said that it could start using the service on the Alishan Highway, South Link Highway, Provincial Highway No. 2 and Provincial Highway No. 7.

Statistics show that the directorate has closed roads under its management 640 times as a proactive measure during the wet season.

Massive landslides occurred 306 times after road closures, the agency’s statistics show.

More than 1.8 million text messages have been sent to warn of potential road dangers.

No casualties were reported for 1,686 days, the directorate said.

The directorate said that the Central Weather Bureau is installing a new radar system to scan cumulus clouds, which should help it deliver more accurate rainfall estimates and thereby enable the authorities to make more effective decisions about road closures.

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