Truck signage ‘ignored’

2020-01-14 06:00
A Kenilworth resident said a heavy-duty truck caused this damage to the wall outside Kenilworth House.

A Kenilworth resident said a heavy-duty truck caused this damage to the wall outside Kenilworth House.

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A Kenilworth resident has expressed his frustration at heavy-duty truck drivers who cause damage to private and public property and then just race off, ignoring the consequences of their actions.

In an email to Ian Iversen, councillor for ward 59, the resident – who wished to remain anonymous – reported the crumbling state of pavements in both Kenilworth Road and Richmond Road. The resident said the manoeuvring of heavy-duty trucks over the pavements were to blame and went on to describe an incident in December last year where a truck driver severely damaged the wall outside Kenilworth House.

The resident claimed to have tried to talk to the driver but was ignored. During the conversation, the driver allegedly turned sideways, unzipped his fly, and began to urinate between the wheels of his truck.

“This is not the first time a heavy-duty truck has tried to negotiate this intersection, causing damage to the old oak tree on the corner and our trees opposite.”

The resident said it was blatantly obvious that the streets were too narrow for rigs of that size, and that overhanging trees, traffic signs and lamp posts were not taken into account.

According to the resident, erecting more warning signs was a waste of time and taxpayers’ money as these signs were simply ignored. Instead residents should record these incidents and share it with council so that it could proceed with legal action where possible for the repair of damage.

Traffic service spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said if a road is not deemed fit to handle heavy motor vehicles, a weight restriction sign would be erected by the roads or engineering departments, and the sign would be enforced according to the National Road Traffic Act that imposes a fine of R500 on a driver that was in contravention of it.

The City introduced a prohibitive delivery truck sign in 2016.

“This type of signage applies to all vehicles, not only to trucks, destined to the immediate area. More often than not, drivers ignore road signage and follow navigation systems, such as Google Maps and TomTom, sending them on the shortest, least-congested routes, which is problematic.”

Bezuidenhout said a driver could be held liable for damage to municipal property, however, private property owners needed to claim directly from the responsible parties.

In the case of damage to municipal property, residents are encouraged to report such incidents to the City via the various reporting mechanisms, for example, the call centre, their ward councillor or local subcouncil office.

“Evidence, like photographs or video footage, need to be provided to support claims. Complainants may be required to submit an affidavit as well if the matter goes to court,” she explained.

Once a complaint is lodged, staff is dispatched to investigate reports of damage to City infrastructure.

“The department would depend on the nature of the damage, for example, road surfaces, traffic signs and signals would be the transport department, while damaged street lights would be the electricity department,” said Bezuidenhout.

The City’s enforcement agencies can act against drivers who cause damage to City property if they witness the transgressions. The City has a theft loss recovery unit that undertakes to recover costs or damages to City property.

In response to People’s Post question on how much money the City spends a year on fixing damage caused in the Western Cape by heavy-duty trucks or how many drivers were brought to book, Bezuidenhout said The City’s enforcement agencies did not keep statistics with this level of detail at hand. “Unfortunately, the City does not keep statistics outlining particular instances. Vandalism and theft statistics/damage is consolidated. It would be an immense task to go through all notices issued to determine the number issued for the particular offence.”

V Report incidents of damage to property to the CIty’s call centre on 0860 103 089.


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