Sun powers night driving

2015-08-04 06:01
Solar studs have been installed along Noordhoek Main Road and Ou Kaapse Weg to improve visibility at night.

PHOTO: 
nicole mccain

Solar studs have been installed along Noordhoek Main Road and Ou Kaapse Weg to improve visibility at night. PHOTO: nicole mccain

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You may have thought street lamps were the only way to shed light on dark roads. But new technology is seeing lane markers giving off light without using any electricity.

Solar studs have been installed along Ou Kaapse Weg and Noordhoek Main Road, after a number of motorists complained of poor visibility at night, explains subcouncil 19 chairperson Felicity Purchase.

At just under R200 per solar stud, the project of R180 000 was funded through her ward allocation budget.

The road studs charge from the sun during the day and light up automatically in the dark, explains Brett Herron, mayoral committee member for transport.

“The studs are non-flashing, although a flashing version is also available. The same standard as is already used in ordinary retro-reflective studs was used for the solar studs. White studs are placed on broken lines where overtaking is permitted. Red studs are placed on solid lines where no overtaking is allowed. Amber studs are available for use at the road edge, but were not used on this project, as there was some concern from cyclists,” he says.

Noordhoek Ratepayers’ Association spokesperson Lynn Brown says a number of residents prefer the solar studs for safety above “more intrusive street lighting”.

The lighting provides greater clarity on the direction of the road and helps keep cars on the correct side of the road, say residents.

Sections of road that are not served by street lighting were chosen. A pilot project had been done on Black Hill Road.

“It is hoped that the studs will improve road safety by facilitating safe overtaking. The spacing of the studs helps to give drivers a better idea of the speed at which they are travelling, and will hopefully help to reduce overall speeds,” Herron says

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