Install tracking devices in trolleys

Dr V. Subramaniam says that technology should be harnessed to track the location of abandoned supermarket trolleys.
Dr V. Subramaniam says that technology should be harnessed to track the location of abandoned supermarket trolleys.ST FILE PHOTO

I am dismayed that despite public education, signs and other initiatives by supermarkets to inform and remind shoppers to return the trolleys they have used, the situation has in fact worsened ("Going the distance for missing trolleys"; Jan 31).

It is appalling to read that shoppers even use chains to lock the trolleys outside their flats.

Shoppers abandoning trolleys - at taxi stands, carparks, void decks, staircases and other places, sometimes at quite a distance from the supermarket - has been a perennial problem.

Apart from the losses incurred by these supermarkets, their "trolley boys" have to face the arduous task of manually retrieving abandoned trolleys.

Finding the trolleys once they leave the shopping complex is cumbersome, while the recalcitrant shoppers using these trolleys are also not traceable.

I wonder whether supermarket operators have considered using technology to track their trolleys.

Tracking devices that are fixed to shopping trolleys are already being used, and successfully so, in some countries.

These devices provide valuable information on shoppers' movements as well as their buying habits, as they select items for purchase.

We should harness such technology to track the whereabouts of trolleys.

As a First World nation, we should move with the times by introducing technology that would be beneficial to society.

Additionally, it is imperative that citizens show more consideration in their daily lives.

V. Subramaniam (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2016, with the headline 'Install tracking devices in trolleys'. Print Edition | Subscribe