June 13th, 2007 at 06:33am
A few weeks ago I was asked to help test a new Canberra based website, CanberraRoadWatch.com, so I had a poke around, did a bit of testing and provided some feedback. At that stage I didn’t know how close it was to public release, so I wasn’t entirely sure if my first impressions would still be accurate when the site was eventually ready to go live.
Yesterday I was informed that the site is now live, so I had another look. There have been a few modifications, but ultimately it is still much the same as it was when I was asked for feedback, which in my view is a good thing.
The website is essentially a “dob in a bad driver” site, something that has been done a few times before, but this one is different, mainly because it is by far the most straight-forward website of its type, and as the name implies, is focussed solely on Canberra. The main benefit here is that a simple website which focuses on one area is much easier for users to navigate the site and do whatever they need to do quickly and with minimal fuss, and without the burden of being inundated with information about people in cities on the other side of the country.
When you visit the website you are greeted by a short list of recent reports, and information on how to report an incident, plus links to a page where you can search for incidents involving certain number plates or locations, and another page where you can sign up to the CanberraRoadWatch monitoring service.
In many ways I think the monitoring service is probably the best feature of the site, especially for businesses with company car fleets (although as I’ve mentioned previously, the ACT Government’s car fleet seems to have been immunised against the road rules). The potential here for vehicle rental businesses is considerable.
Obviously the monitoring service has other uses too, such as monitoring the driving habits of new licensed teenagers, keeping tabs on people you lend your car to, and possibly even monitoring people you are investigating for whatever reason (hello private investigators…and perhaps ASIO).
I think the main benefit of this site is that people won’t want their car listed on there, so hopefully will behave sensibly…it may take them getting listed a few times, but with any luck, CanberraRoadWatch.com may help to make Canberra’s roads safer, and that can only be a good thing.