Pothole app means Shellharbour residents can 'dob in a pothole'

Shellharbour City Council's road safety assistant, Natalie Cassar, and cadet engineer Scott Boon put the new Safer Roads Shellharbour app to use. It will let residents report problems with roads and will help the council plan road renewal projects. Picture: CHRIS CHAN

Shellharbour City Council's road safety assistant, Natalie Cassar, and cadet engineer Scott Boon put the new Safer Roads Shellharbour app to use. It will let residents report problems with roads and will help the council plan road renewal projects. Picture: CHRIS CHAN

Shellharbour residents can now "dob in a pothole" and report road safety issues on the spot through a new iPhone application from Shellharbour City Council.

The app, called Safer Roads Shellharbour, was developed by the council's cadet engineer Scott Boon, with funding assistance from Roads and Maritime Services.

"It means ratepayers become asset inspectors," Mr Boon said.

While road safety issues are the focus of the current app, Mr Boon said there was potential for the system to be used for many other council projects.

The app allows residents to photograph a pothole, a cracked road surface or a damaged road sign and send the photo directly to the council along with GPS co-ordinates within two metres of the hazard.

Within minutes of a resident sending the hazard report they will receive an automated email response with a unique case number that can be used for a status report if required.

The data will be collected to identify locations where roads are failing and assist the council to plan and prioritise road renewal projects.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council relied upon the community for the latest information about the condition of its roads to complement the assessments conducted by staff.

"This mobile app is part of a conscious effort of council to improve road safety by making it easier for the community to provide accurate information," Cr Saliba said.

She said the "Dob in a hoon" facet of the application could be used to register any disruptive and unsafe driving behaviour on roads directly with the police.

"This feature will also help the police and council identify possible hot spots and target these areas for possible improvements to reduce the likelihood of this behaviour on our roads," Cr Saliba said.

The application is currently available free to Apple mobile devices through the App Store and will be developed for Android and Windows in the future.

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