Alex Menjo, a fifth year telecommunications and information engineering student at the Multimedia University of Kenya (MMU), has created an “Alcohol and Sound Detection System” to curtail the growing numbers of road accidents involving public service vehicles.
Menjo who ascribes most accidents to drunken driving and speeding, says the system has capabilities that can notify the vehicle owner and the police about the exact location of the vehicle.
This device he said, can even be concealed from the driver in a PSV. It is designed with a breathalyser situated on either the steering wheel or the side door that can measure alcohol in the air.
“The breathalysers (Alcoblow) by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) only solve part of the problem because you have to be caught driving and because you can’t stop people from drinking, why not stop them from getting behind the wheel?” he says adding that the “REVERSING TRENDA” micro-controller fastened to the breathalyser is programmed to convert the alcohol level into electric pulses that can be measured against the level set.
“When the driver starts the ignition, the breathalyser immediately measures the content of the alcohol in the breath,” he added. The information is then fed to a sensor that causes the engine to stop if the alcohol level is too high.
The engine cannot be turned on as long as the drunk driver is on the steering wheel, Menjo explained.
According to the NTSA, over 1,602 people died from road accidents in the first half of this year, an increase of 89 people, compared to the same period last year. Menjo says his innovation can help to reverse this.