Move to address traffic issues in ’Plain

The painting on the road surface of AZ Berman Drive is faded.

Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) is concerned about road safety and is calling on the City of Cape Town to address the issue.

Recently, a traffic report was done for Sub-council 12, and Alex Lawrence, who serves on Mura’s road safety and security sector committee, feels that more can be done about road safety in Mitchell’s Plain.

Mr Lawrence, a former City of Cape Town assistant traffic chief who also headed the department’s taxi unit, said residents depended on traffic officers to be visible in the area to keep them safe from lawless and criminal behaviour on the roads.

“We expect them to report to the local sub-council on their activities in a more substantive and meaningful way for the interest of councillors and community organisations.

“Over the past festive season 1 714 people died on the country’s roads – 142 in the province. Families were traumatised but the report did not cover any activities of traffic services covering the festive season or the recent Easter period.The stats presented was 2 353 cases of which 2 205 were speeding offences,” he said.

Mr Lawrence said no councillor asked if it was a result of fixed speed cameras or manual speed cameras.

“We would like to know how they arrived at such a high figure and what measures were put in place to reduce so many speeding offences. Where are the worst speeding locations? What were the accident stats at these locations and was any follow-up done for any improvements at these locations?

“We could educate the community in our meetings if we knew the answers,” he said.

Mr Lawrence said on AZ Berman Drive towards Tafelsig, sections of the road had faded or had no road markings. He said this is challenging when it rained and at night as people had to remain in their lane when driving.

“This was reported more than a year ago but nothing has been done to rectify the problem,” he said.

Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for area south, which includes Mitchell’s Plain, said the City started the painting of lane markings on AZ Berman on Sunday June 4 and the work would be finished by the end of this week.

Mr Lawrence said Mura was concerned about road safety education, and suggested that it be done at schools by the department. “We would like to see all councillors take an active interest in road safety and take more interest in the reports submitted by officials,” he said.

Mr Andrews said speeding was considered one of the key drivers of collisions and fatalities and so the City’s traffic services, therefore, focused on this transgression. He said speed enforcement was done in line with the City’s traffic violation Camera Policy.

“For the record, there were just short of 450 000 speeding violations detected across the metropole in the first quarter of this year, using both fixed and manual speed cameras,” he said.

Mr Andrews added that the City’s traffic services conducted ongoing enforcement operations.

“But the reality is that we are stretched to the limit and we are unable to pro-actively police all of the flashpoints that require attention. While it is useful to have access to data like accident locations, the reality is that there are simply too many people who disregard the law,” he said.

Mr Andrews said road safety was everyone’s responsibility and as much as enforcement agencies had a duty to enforce the laws, the public had a duty to abide by the laws.

He said the City was always open to engaging with community organisations who had a vested interest in community safety and helping build a safer city.

“I would encourage Mura to submit proposals and questions via their ward councillor for consideration and discussion at the local sub-council meeting in respect of road safety,” he said.