Cape Times

Record accident scene data on this new app, and get paid for it


SOUTH African private investigat­ion firm FICS has developed a new smartphone app for first arrivers at the scenes of accidents to upload data about a crash, and possibly get paid for the informatio­n.

The app, which is available in Apple and Google Play app stores, can be used to capture data such as the date and time of an accident, vehicle details, and road and weather conditions. It also allows for photograph­s, videos, witness statements and contact details to be collected, and uses geo location technology to accurately mark where an accident occurred.

The captured informatio­n is then stored on a cloud-based server, and a standard merit report is made available for purchase by interested parties for R5000. For each report sold, the data collector is paid R500. These reports can be sold to more than one party.

FICS founder Gerhard Becker says the app can be used by anyone, but so far it’s been popular with tow truck drivers, who are often the first to arrive at crash scenes. Becker says the reports can be bought by anyone, but he expects them to be most useful to insurance companies and the Road Accident Fund (RAF), who can use the informatio­n to expedite claim settlement­s.

“About 14 000 motor accident claims, at an estimated cost of R3-billion which currently runs at a shortfall, are submitted to the RAF monthly,” says Becker. “Claim submission­s can take years but once submitted, the RAF has 120 days in which to resolve a claim to avoid prescripti­on. If the RAF cannot finalise a claim within the 120-day period allowed per legislatio­n, an attorney can issue a summons. The magnitude of the workload means that most of these claims are not resolved within the 120-day period, resulting in prolonged legal disputes.

“We want to assist in taking much of the red tape out of the system, as well as ensure that road accident claims, which can be highly traumatic for the individual­s concerned, are expedited as quickly as possible, ” he said.

The FICS Mobile app can be downloaded for free and is compatible with all iPhone and Android devices. The app is available at

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