Cape Town is getting new traffic lights, designed to help avoid accidents in major areas. These new traffic lights could find their way to the rest of South Africa before too long.
The City of Cape Town has announced that residents will be seeing new sets of traffic lights very soon. Over the course of the next six months, the government will decide if the project is a success or not. If the project is deemed successful, the rest of South Africa should be able to replicate its success.
The new traffic lights will only be for public transport; specifically, the MyCiTi buses that run through major parts of towns. The reason for the change is to avoid confusion for regular drivers, who aren’t sure which traffic light to follow. Some motorists were mistakenly reading the MyCiTi buses’ cues to go, resulting in accidents.
These new traffic lights will be following other countries’ systems for this same problem. Parts of the UK’s system (which is shared with a few other European countries) will be adopted for South African roads. This system includes a white single aspect light system, which will be paired up with new directional symbols to help distinguish them from the regular traffic lights.
Not MyCiTi yet…
For the next six months, Cape Town will be test driving the new system. If it is successful, then it will be made available for other cities around the country to follow suit. Additionally, new symbols and colour values will be included in the South African Road Signs Traffic Manual. And if this new system becomes more mainstream, eventually the government will need to include it in the driving tests. Perhaps they will only add a question or two to the learner’s test.
Capetonian mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said, “The road safety of all road users is of great priority to the city, so my hope is that this new traffic signal system will cause less confusion and incidents among motorists in the area”.
“All motorists, pedestrians and other road users must continue to follow the rules of the road and the ordinary traffic signals that apply to them. I believe this pilot project will be a success and that this new traffic signal system will prove to work just as efficiently in Cape Town as it currently does in other European cities” said the city’s mayoral committee member for urban mobility Rob Quintas.
It’s great to see the country putting in some effort, even if it is something as basic as new traffic lights. This might help confused drivers avoid collisions but it only adds something else for the rest of South African motorists to hit. Let’s hope these stay upright.