Call for traffic calming measures

Residents say vehicles often jump the red robot at the Hyde Road and Prince George Drive intersection. Here a truck ignored the red light and collided with a vehicle which overturned with the driver trapped inside.

Fairways residents are again urging the City of Cape Town to implement stricter traffic calming measures after an elderly man was killed and his wife critically injured after being knocked by a speeding taxi on the corner of Hyde Road and Prince George Drive, on Monday March 20.

Captain Marius Voges, spokesperson for Diep River police, said the driver was arrested on four accounts including being under the influence, speeding, not stopping at the traffic lights and not stopping after the accident.

The driver appeared in court on March 22 and the case was postponed. The driver faces another charge for culpable homicide after the elderly man died, said Captain Voges.

Kim Abrahams, deputy chairperson for the Fairways Ratepayers’ Association (FRESCA), and a resident in the community for over 50 years, said they had been at loggerheads with the City to address the issue of the inadequate road calming and safety measures that have gone from bad to worse over the years.

Mr Abrahams has several incidents in his log book where he feels accidents could have been prevented if the City had placed the necessary calming measures.

“The following incident is what sparked me to reach out to you directly. On the corner of 2nd Avenue and Forest Road in Fairways on October 18 2020 at 2pm, a vehicle completely jumped a stop sign without even slowing down and collided with another car. This resulted in minor injuries to the occupants, two written off vehicles and a destroyed house wall. The CCTV footage of the incident shows just how bad the accident was. Nobody involved was from Fairways, they were using it as a thoroughfare.”

He said: “Another concern is that there are traffic cameras all over the area that haven’t been working for years.”

Mr Abrahams said he was told by the City that there is a shortage of cameras and that they are rotated. “Ironically enough, there are mobile, hidden speed traps almost every single day down Prince George Drive and the south end of the M5. The traffic department deliberately traps in these areas as they know the drivers are aware of the yellow cameras not working and regularly speed down these roads. How many years of rotation are left until they are reinstalled?”

Mr Abrahams said the accident hotspots are Hyde Road-Prince George Drive, Prince George Drive-De Waal Road, Military Road-Prince George Drive, Fifth Avenue and Prince George Drive.

Mr Abrahams said his call on behalf of the residents is for the mayor to weigh in on the issue.

Traffic Service spokesperson, Maxine Bezuidenhout, said: “From the Traffic Service’s side, the locations that the complainant is referring to are part of our ongoing rotation. All fixed cameras are rotated quarterly. The camera that had been installed at Prince George Drive and Hyde Road was stolen – a process is under way to replace it.

“The Traffic Service also takes note of the concerns around road safety within the Fairways area. Ad hoc enforcement is conducted where possible, however, due to the many demands on our resources, it is not always possible to maintain a static presence in any one particular area. The public is advised to please contact the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre on 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline to report any traffic incidents or concerns about public safety,” said Ms Bezuidenhout.

Rob Quintas, the City’s Mayoral committee member for urban mobility, said: “I refer to your request for a raised traffic calming at the Sixth Avenue/Forest Road and Second Avenue/Forest Road intersections.

“The City of Cape Town Traffic Calming Policy aims to protect the most vulnerable road users, where they occur in the largest numbers on a Class 4 Collector Street and/or Class 5 Local Street in a residential area in the vicinity of public facilities, with roads adjacent to and leading to schools being the primary focus of attention. This being the case, a systematic programme is in place for the treatment of all educational facilities over the next few years as a priority, which will not permit the Urban Mobility Directorate to investigate and implement calming measures at other locations,” said Mr Quintas.