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HomeFeaturesCape Town’s “Smart Speed Signs” a big success – Here’s how they work

Cape Town’s “Smart Speed Signs” a big success – Here’s how they work

The City of Cape Town’s Urban Mobility Directorate installed two new “smart speed signs” on High Level Road on the Atlantic Seaboard in July this year in a bid to reduce speeding, and they have proven to be a big success.

Speed limit breaches on the scenic access route have dropped by two-thirds since these electronic fixtures were put up, equating to a roughly 67% decrease, far higher than the 25% reduction that the feasibility studies showed was possible.

The signs, located at High Level Road plots 109 and 201, detect the speed of a vehicle and then display the reading on a Variable Message Sign for the driver’s attention, creating a “front-of-mind message” to slow down.

“We recorded some data before the actual display was activated. Then we recorded more data after these signs were activated and noted a change in driver behaviour patterns,” Councillor Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, told TopAuto.

“Therefore, we can confirm that these signs have been assisting in reducing speeding along this road.”

What’s next for Cape Town’s roads

Following the favourable outcome of the new speed signs, Cape Town will continue to evaluate the efficiency of the initiative over the long term to determine whether they can be implemented on other roads where speeding has become an issue.

Further roll-out and possible locations will come down to the continued long-term effectiveness of the signs on High Level Road, as well as whether there is a request from the City’s Transport Engineers to install them on aother particular route, said Quintas.

Crucially, the expansion will also depend on available funding.

Alongside the smart speed signs, Cape Town is in the process of trialing cameras powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to curb lawlessness on its roads.

“We are busy testing AI cameras to test their effectiveness, and to see how we can use this technology in reducing speed violations and improving road safety,” said Quintas.

There are currently no details around the possible introduction date or locations of these AI-driven cameras, however.

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