Motorists in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape will now be fined R1,500 for driving through the Third Avenue Dip in Newton Park, when the road is closed due to flooding.
On Tuesday Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality installed a water-level detection system, which will activate the new traffic lights at the top of the dip on the Newton Park side, alerting motorists not to pass through the road.
The lights which will be be operated remotely from the South End Fire Station control room aims to lessen inconvenience to motorists as the road can be reopened quicker, as well as improve road safety.
Safety and Security Head John Best said the booms which normally block the road during heavy rains will still be used to also prevent motorists from accessing the dip.
Best said the metro installed the system because motorists were still using the dip when it was closed and because of the manual labour needed to operate the booms. “The boom gates erected by the Infrastructure and Engineering Department in 2010 are not effective. Some motorists cut the locks, remove the barricade and drive through at immense personal risk to themselves which renders this system ineffective.
“Officials from our Disaster Management and Information Technology departments came up with a solution that we believe will work. As soon as the water level at the low-level bridge is deemed dangerous, red lights will be switched on remotely to inform motorists that they cannot use the road safely any longer,” said Best.
– African News Agency (ANA)