Camera mooted for Otto du Plessis

Speeding on Otto du Plessis drive has resulted in the death of many animals who inhabit the land alongside the road on the nature reserve.

Traffic authorities are considering installing a camera system to stop speeding motorists killing wildlife on a stretch of Otto du Plessis Drive near the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve.

The City of Cape Town is doing a feasibility study in the area and considering speed and accident profiles along the 70km/h road, before giving the green light to the system, which measures average speed over distance (ASOD).

The ASOD system has cameras at the beginning and end of a stretch of road, which calculate the time a car takes to travel between the two points using automatic number plate recognition technology.

The system will monitor the road – probably the 4.5km stretch from Eerste Steen in the direction of Melkbosstrand – in both directions if it is installed.

“This study comes off the back of a request for cameras from the public. All applications are investigated,” said traffic services spokesman Richard Coleman.

Melkbosstrand resident Elma Küyler lodged the most recent complaint about speeding on the road. She said she had written to Ward 23 councillor Nora Grose about the problem last year.

“Apparently other people also reported the same problem to the city, so I think my mail was just the last of many complaints,” she said. “It is just heart-breaking to see all the people speeding, as both sides of the road is conservation area and the speed limit is 70, but people are travelling at a high speed through this area.”

Jacques Küyler, Blaauwberg Nature Reserve’s biodiversity area co-ordinator, has also raised concerns about animals crossing the road being killed by speeding motorists.

The reserve’s annual report for 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 noted that grysbok, caracals, Cape cobras and porcupines were among the many animals killed on Otto du Plessis Drive near the reserve.

“The challenge is two-fold. Many of the motorists are not aware that they are driving through nature reserve areas, while at the same time many of the animals are nocturnal. Nocturnal animals are particularly vulnerable in this regard,” said the report, adding: “To protect our wildlife and to ensure the safety of road users, the City is calling on motorists to be vigilant and to slow down when driving in these vicinities, especially at night, as animals often cross the roads unexpectedly.”