Another shot for speed camera plan

KAREN PRETORIUS

An application for a speed camera on the corner of Stellenberg Road and Frans Conradie Drive, Bellville, will again be tabled before the City of Cape Town’s Camera Review Committee, following the failure of an earlier application in February.

The question of whether to reapply for a speed camera was discussed at Sub-council 3 (Goodwood) on Thursday April 21.

Sub-council chairman Taki Amira said the initial application had been turned down, because “the committee said it didn’t warrant it”, to which Bellville councillor Brendan van der Merwe replied: “So obviously not enough people have died there.”

Sub-council manager Johannes Brand told councillors the issue could be referred to the City’s chief of traffic services, Heathcliff Thomas, again.

On Friday May 6, Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said the application had not been approved during a review on Thursday February 4, because all the set criteria were not met.

“Accident stats from 2010 to 2015 reflect two fatalities, no serious injuries and nine slight injuries. Speed enforcement statistics recorded a highest speed of 106km/* during speed enforcement. A new speed survey is being requested,” Mr Smith said.

“The application for a speed camera will be tabled again at the next Camera Review Committee meeting for reconsideration,” he said.

* Responding to a monthly report by traffic services, Mr Amira welcomed plans for traffic enforcement after hours.

“Everyone is always saying traffic disappears at 4.30pm, 5pm. So that’s good news as there will be coverage after hours,” he said.

While no further details were given at Sub-council, Mr Smith told Northern News there were plans to change from a 6am shift start to 5am, pending negotiations with the unions.

“It is, however, the intention to not only get traffic services to start at 5am, but we are working to establish traffic services as a proper 24-hour service as it currently has a skeleton staff deployment during the night,” he said.

Traffic services will also be bolstered by 120 officers, a process that started more than two years ago.

“The lead time to get people recruited, trained and employed stretches over 18 months due to the nationally-legislated qualification requirements and the absence of traffic officers with existing qualifications who we can recruit without further training,” Mr Smith said.

In August last year, the City said it would recruit 90 new officers by the end of June 2016. At the time, Mr Smith motivated the investment in staff, saying more officers on the beat would lead to an increase in fines being issued and paid.

He said then that traffic services had 480 uniformed members, including top management, and the planned appointments would bumpy that number up to 570.

“We have worked hard to increase the law enforcement capacity within the City, but it is a two-way street. The public continually ask for more police and increased enforcement, but imagine if more residents took responsibility for their actions and obeyed the law. We would not need to invest such significant resources into enforcement and effectively babysit those who aren’t doing the right thing,” he said at the time.

* Statistics in the traffic report submitted to sub-council show 95 speed offences were recorded on Frans Conradie Drive, between the R300 and Old Oak Road, during a drag racing operation in the northern suburbs on Wednesday March 9.

“The highest speed was 140km/* ,” the report reads.

According to the report, a follow up operation was held where a driver was arrested after being stopped driving 140km/* in a 60km/* zone in Frans Conradie Drive, Brackenfell. “Another two drivers were arrested for drunken driving at the same location,” it said.

An overview of all speed enforcement operations from November last year to March shows there were 20 operations on Frans Conradie Drive, 884 offences were recorded, with the highest speed being 112km/* .