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Kings County residents have been active in text messaging the province regarding issues with road conditions this month.

The province recently introduced a new messaging system administered by BamText, a Charlottetown business specializing in Short Messaging System technology.

Thirty-four of 110 text messages received by the province have come from the eastern PEI county.

The Department of Transportation is able to determine the origin of the texts through a separate phone number for each county.

Transportation Minister Steven Myers said the department is starting to see the benefits.

The highest percentage of messages received has been for snow-removal on the roads at 43 per cent. The next highest at 14 per cent concern general conditions such as the grade of roads.

“We actually had one message where somebody notified us that a stop sign was missing and we were able to get it put up within a couple hours,” Mr Myers said.

The system is monitored only during daytime hours by one employee in the highway maintenance department.

However, Mr Myers said that may change if the system starts to see increased traffic. Should that arise, the task of monitoring the messages would be delegated to dispatch staff on shift around the clock.

The need for the system arose from residents taking to social media to message government about road conditions. This process does not constitute an official public record in the eyes of the government.

“We’re giving people an avenue where they can get the message directly to the people who are going to fix it all the while allowing them to have a public record created on behalf of the interactions,” Mr Myers said.

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