Improving traffic safety with a crowdsourced traffic violation reporting app

A driver is trying to capture an event by touching a screen. The Mobile Radwatch supports continuous video recording and safe event captureing behind the wheel. Credit: KAIST

KAIST researchers revealed that crowdsourced traffic violation reporting with smartphone-based continuous video capturing can dramatically change the current practice of policing activities on the road and will significantly improve traffic safety.


Professor Uichin Lee of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and the Graduate School of Knowledge Service Engineering at KAIST and his research team designed and evaluated Mobile Roadwatch, a mobile app that helps citizen record traffic violation with their smartphones and report the recorded videos to the .

This app supports continuous video recording just like onboard vehicle dashboard cameras. Mobile Roadwatch allows to safely capture by simply touching a smartphone screen while driving. The captured videos are automatically tagged with contextual information such as location and time. This information will be used as important evidence for the police to ticket the violators. All of the captured videos can be conveniently reviewed, allowing users to decide which events to report to the police.

The team conducted a two-week field study to understand how drivers use Mobile Roadwatch. They found that the drivers tended to capture all traffic risks regardless of the level of their involvement and the seriousness of the traffic risks. However, when it came to actual reporting, they tended to report only serious traffic violations, which could have led to car accidents, such as traffic signal violations and illegal U-turns. After receiving feedback about their reports from the police, drivers typically felt very…

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