City clears the air on traffic, speed camera policy

2018-06-28 06:00

The City of Cape Town says it has noted the media and subsequent public interest in their Traffic and Speed Camera Policy.

The policy was tabled for approval at a Mayoral Committee meeting on Tuesday 19 June, which will serve before the Full Council meeting on Thursday 26 July.

It says the policy is a review of the existing Traffic Violation Camera Policy, which was approved by council in June 2007.

All policy documents are periodically reviewed, as was the case with this policy recently, council explains.

Some media reports have framed certain aspects of the policy review document as “new” when in reality, these provisions have been in place for the last eleven years.

It has always been policy that:

. camera warning signs be placed not more than 1 km from a fixed speed camera;

. fixed speed camera housings must be coloured yellow or covered with retro reflective sheeting; and

. fixed or mobile cameras must be visible to vehicles approaching or departing from the point of enforcement.

“The only reason for the policy review was to determine whether the provisions are still relevant after 11 years and whether any changes are required,” says JP Smith, Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security; and Social Services.

“Public input was sought on the matter and the comments received are reflected in the documentation that is currently going through the various council processes.”

He says there are two points of view on one of the key issues for the portfolio committee to consider, namely whether the policy should allow enforcement staff to conceal traffic cameras or if it should require them to be visible.

“The opposing points of view on the debate argue that it is better for the cameras to be visible as a deterrent to speeding, on the one hand,” Smith said, “and on the other, that it is better for cameras to be concealed, as drivers should always drive as if they think there is a speed enforcement camera around, not just slowing down when they note a camera.

“The ultimate goal is to save lives and reduce fatalities on our roads as the number of fatal accidents on South African roads is extremely high.”

Smith says the portfolio committee considered these issues as well as the public comment received and confirmed the position held by the current policy that the speed enforcement cameras, both static and manual, should be visibly displayed.

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