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Korea acts to spread traffic to small roads
Wong Dong-hee, Joong Ang Daily (13 Dec 2004)

The Korean government, eager to do something about the country's often appalling traffic congestion, says it is expanding a high-tech effort to alleviate road conditions nationwide.

The Construction Ministry said yesterday that it will spend 242 billion won ($226.6 million) through the end of the decade to install various monitoring devices on all state roads. Until now, only major highways had the automated traffic assessment and alert system for drivers.

The main functions of the system involve tracking the average speed of vehicles and travel time between designated road segments. These will be measured by cameras that read license plates, closed-circuit TVs, and ultrasonic vehicle detectors, among others.

Electronic signs on the road will provide updates and suggest alternate routes in case of congestion. Information can also accessed by mobile phone or the Internet.

"We have to increase efficiency. There are many smaller state roads that run almost parallel to the highways that people don't know about," a ministry official said.

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