Speed traps snap for cash
May 19, 2006
How sad that traffic safety has been reduced to rands and cents ("Cape Town's busiest speed camera", Cape Argus, May 16).
The story would be more to the point if the traffic department's Heathcliff Thomas could show us that the camera's location had reduced the collision rate.
However, the collision rate on Table Bay Boulevard, just below the camera, has increased due to motorists aggressively applying brakes to avoid the zap.
Vanguard Drive southbound has a speed camera on the bridge. How many collisions occur at this spot, only about 100m from Vanguard and Viking?
In my opinion the only camera that really serves a purpose is the one on the corner of Vanguard and Frans Conradie, which reacts to speed and red traffic light jumpers.
The intersection of Vanguard and Viking is a high collision hotspot, but it has no cameras. Why not?
Vanguard and Voor-trekker, another high-collision intersection, has no cameras - and the road markings are only just invisible. Why?
Frequent complaints from motorists and the area's councillor regarding violations and collisions have produced no action.
The intersection of Western Boulevard and Buitengracht is another high-collision intersection, but only has cameras in Buitengracht Street, north-south and south-north, but none at Hans Strijdom and West Boulevard, east-west and west-east. Why not?
Buitengracht and Coen Steytler is another high-collision intersection, but there are only cameras in Buitengracht and none in Coen Steytler.
A camera on the elevated section of Eastern Boulevard covering the split to Table Bay Boulevard and Eastern Boulevard would help to prevent the number of speed-related collisions there.
Or must we wait until a motor vehicle goes over the edge before we take it seriously?
The answer to all of these questions lies in the fact that the cameras have been positioned for the simple purpose of generating revenue.
I refer to your article "Cape Town's busiest speed camera" (Cape Argus, May 16).
The speed camera in question is on the N1 at Table Bay Boulevard inbound, between Koeberg and Marine drives, in an 80km/h speed zone, not far beyond the 120km/h speed zone, and is hidden from the motorist's line of vision by a streetlight pole.
The purpose of speed cameras is to enforce speed limits at danger points, to protect areas with a history of serious accidents and to protect drivers using on-ramps and accesses.
This camera and a similar one on the outbound side of Table Bay Boulevard serve no purpose but to catch unsuspecting motorists on a straight six-lane highway for the purpose of making money.
There are no danger zones, accesses or pedestrians crossing this portion of the highway - in fact this portion of the N1 could quite easily be reassessed to have its speed limit raised from 80km/h to at least 100km/h.
While I am not opposed to speed cameras and have not been caught by this one, at R500 000 a piece I strongly recommend that the cameras be relocated where they serve a purpose and are not merely placed to make money.
In the UK, most of the speed cameras are in a highly visible, bright yellow box where they encourage regulated operating speeds and are certainly not being used to make money out of people.
I am appalled and disgusted at the irresponsibility of the article (Cape Argus, May 16) on Cape Town's busiest speed camera.
A more general article would have been sufficient.
How could you publish a picture of the cameras? If these are not vandalised in the next few days I will be greatly surprised, as now everyone knows exactly where they are being caught.
You couldn't have done a better job of undermining the efforts of the beleaguered traffic department.
Or was that possibly the intention?
D K Lee