Infrared cameras to combat bridge rock throwers

2012-10-25 00:00

AUTHORITIES are turning to technology in a bid to end the scourge of rock throwing from bridges that has proved fatal more than once in recent years.

New night-vision cameras designed to catch culprits using the cover of darkness are being installed on the Blackburn pedestrian bridge that straddles the N2, just past Umhlanga.

The South African National Roads Agency Limited said in a statement yesterday it was responding to a plea for help from police to monitor the bridge.

“To assist, we’re in the process of installing thermal [night vision] cameras on the Blackburn bridge. This new monitoring system should be implemented by mid-November,” said Logashri Sewnarain, the agency’s manager for the eastern region.

Newspapers have carried various reports in recent years about the scale of the problem, particularly in and around Durban.

Three teenagers are currently on trial in the Durban Regional Court for murder after allegedly throwing a concrete slab from the Candella Road bridge over the N3 two years ago.

Siphesihle Zuma (24), a passenger in a car driving below, was struck and died later the same evening.

In July, police began regular patrols in trouble spots after another motorist was killed by a brick thrown from a bridge over the N2 near the old Durban airport.

A flurry of reports followed after victims who survived similar incidents started coming forward.

Sewnarain said the Blackburn bridge was intended as a safe means for residents in the area to negotiate the busy freeway.

Given its iconic design, he added it was sad that people were using the facility to commit crime.

“We are looking at the design to incorporate a closure of the pedestrian screen at the bridge to stop criminals from throwing rocks and heavy objects on to the highway below. We are in the process of sourcing prices from contractors. Depending on the cost, we are looking to implement this within the next two to three months.”

Sewnarain admitted it was a tough task stopping the perpetrators, given the random nature of the crime. Various law enforcement agencies, from police to the Road Traffic Inspectorate, were relied on to curb incidents.

He said another role-player — the communities themselves — needed to do its part in addressing the problem. Until then, vigilance was advised as the best preventative measure.

“The scourge of rock throwing is a law enforcement nightmare and can only be addressed by community participation. As [the roads agency], we would advise motorists to be vigilant and be on the lookout for anyone suspicious, and if possible report it to the police immediately,” said Sewnarain.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.