UPDATE: 6th October – this is now CONFIRMED
Eagle-eyed motorists will have noticed some new cameras going up on the N2 and the M3 in Cape Town. They’re on the footbridge at the Searle Street junction of the Nelson Mandela Boulevard in Woodstock, and then, heading further out of town, the footbridge on the M3 at UCT and the Main Road bridge over the Settlers Way bit of the N2.
I’m no expert in speed enforcement camera technology, but this has got ASOD written all over it:
Average Speed Over Distance.
What that means is that your number plate will be read by the camera and your journey from Woodstock to UCT (or Mowbray on the N2) and vice versa is going to be timed. Once they know how long it took you to get from A to B, it’s a simple matter to calculate how fast you were going. Since the speed limit on these bits of road is 80kph, if you average more than that, you’re going to be in trouble.
These schemes have already been used (successfully, we’re told) on the M5, the R27 and the infamous R61 near Beaufort West – the longest ASOD in the world at 72km.
Transport MEC Robin Carlisle’s office said: “Prior to the initial implementation on the R61 stretch from Beaufort West to Aberdeen, there had been a reported 509 crashes in total, 75 of which being fatal crashes resulting in the loss of 149 lives – this over the previous 12 years.
Since the implementation of Asod on the R61 stretch, we have received no reports of any fatal crashes on that stretch.”
And we were also told that this bit of road was one that they were going to be targeting in the future.
I don’t think that the rush hour traffic will be affected by this – you’re lucky if you can get up to 20kph, let alone 80. But that nice long hill down into town down Nelson Mandela Boulevard and the equally tempting dash down Hospital Bend on the way out are going to make this a big money spinner for the authorities out of hours.
Not that I’m saying that speeding motorists shouldn’t be prosecuted. Of course they should: they’re a danger to everyone around them. But given this quote from Carlisle:
“We’ll have a nice nanny state,” he said. “It’s going to be a pleasure to drive in the Western Cape once we’ve got these roads covered.”
I just wish that it wasn’t being done by such a smug twat.