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Thursday / 20 June 2024
HomeNewsCape Town’s new traffic lights are coming to the rest of South Africa

Cape Town’s new traffic lights are coming to the rest of South Africa

In May 2022, the City of Cape Town launched a new traffic signal system at important intersections in Table View that was aimed at reducing confusion among private motorists and public transport operators.

First introduced on a trial basis for a period of six months, the city said that should the new traffic lights prove successful in their intended goal, they will be rolled out across the MyCiTi grid as well as be included in the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual for use by other metros in the country.

Now in March 2024, Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility Rob Quintas announced that the pilot project paid dividends and that these innovative traffic lights may soon start featuring elsewhere in South Africa.

Speaking at the Global Alliance of Cities for Road Safety in Cape Town, Quintas said: “We intend to implement these [traffic signals] across the city, and also, it will be included in the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual for use by other cities and transport systems.”

“This is just another example of how the City of Cape Town is the pioneering agent for road safety.”

The new traffic signals only use white to indicate whether a MyCiTi bus has right of way, instead of the traditional red, amber, and green.

Before, the bus signals were often mistaken as signals for vehicular traffic, which led to private vehicles reacting erroneously and causing collisions, said Quintas.

Road safety is serious business

Over the past few years, the City of Cape Town has taken concerted steps to improve road safety within its jurisdiction, said Quintas.

Since July 2020, it has:

  • Created 12 raised intersections
  • Created 31 raised pedestrian crossings
  • Implemented 257 speed humps
  • Implemented traffic calming measures at 311 schools
  • Implemented traffic calming measures at 105 other necessary locations
  • Introduced a 40km/h speed limit along Main Road in Simon’s Town
  • Introduced a 70km/h speed limit along Otto du Plessis Drive in Blaauwberg
  • Installed “smart speed signs” along High Level Road on the Atlantic Seaboard
  • Opened a new pedestrian bridge in the vicinity of Watergate Estate in Lentegeur

In addition, the city is currently busy extending the footprint of the MyCiTi bus service from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, to Wynberg and Claremont, and all of the new infrastructure including bus lanes, stops, and stations, as well as road improvements, make provision for pedestrian walkways separate from the road and dedicated pedestrian crossings.

However, Quintas highlights that an improvement in driver behaviour will be the only way to truly rid South Africa’s roads of accidents and fatalities.

“We all agree that no amount of money, time, and effort dedicated to solutions and innovations will succeed without behaviour change on our roads,” he said.

“Those who speed, drink and drive, ignore traffic signals, use cellphones while driving, and jaywalk must come to the party, too.”

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