Speedsters have free rein on Vryburger

Many cars speed regardless of the elderly and children who often cross the road on Vryburger Avenue.

Speed signage on Vryburger Avenue, in Bothasig, seems to be a mere suggestion, as motorists regularly break the 60km/h limit and create a “Killarney-type” situation on the road, says a long-time resident who has been monitoring the situation for a while and says the authorities need to act to rein in lawbreakers before tragedy strikes.

Vehicles shoot down the road between the traffic lights next to Bothasig Mall and those near Caltex, trying to beat the lights, which turn green simultaneously. Bothasig resident Peter Kruger says it’s a dangerous routine that threatens the lives of vulnerable road users, such as the elderly and children.

“I am a resident residing on Vryburger Avenue in Bothasig since 1975, and it has turned from a main road to a highway race track and a short cut for heavy-duty trucks and ambulances on route to Milnerton Mediclinic. The speed is 60km/* ,” said Mr Kruger.

He said he had written repeatedly to ward councillor Helen Carsten about the issue.

“My concerns are that the old age home is on Vryburger Avenue and the elderly have to cross to get to the Spar. There are no road blocks by traffic officials on Vryburger Avenue and no traffic police ever performing duties in the area,” said Mr Kruger.

Bosmansdam Primary school secretary Linda King said that while a traffic assistant helped children cross the road in the morning and afternoon there were many children who ran across the road where there was no traffic assitant.”

Ms Carstens said the municipality received many requests for traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, but getting approval for them was a complicated process, and one that had to comply with the City’s traffic calming policy.

“I am very concerned about the disturbing and complete disregard for traffic and municipal by-laws that exists in our area. Daily one sees flagrant breaches of traffic regulations and contravention of municipal by-laws.

“However, it is unquestionably not sustainable and financially practical to install speed humps in every street throughout the area,” she said.

“The other sad reality is that there are simply not enough traffic officers to patrol each road. Cameras are an expensive way of addressing the problem of speeding vehicles and, given the limited resources of the City, these options are not always viable,” said Ms Carstens.

She said she wrote frequently to the traffic authorities requesting clampdowns on errant motorists, and there was regular traffic enforcement in Ward 5.

“Just yesterday (June 8), there was a camera set up where 107 fines were captured in one and a half hours where motorists were exceeding the 60km/* limit, and from Monday April 4 to Saturday May 7, some 329 fines were issued on Vryburger Avenue alone with regard to speeding,” said Ms Carstens.

Brett Herron, the City’s mayoral committee member for transport, said Vryburger Avenue was one of the higher-order routes that provided access to Bothasig, which meant traffic-calming measures could not be implemented on the route.

“The City of Cape Town’s traffic calming policy does not allow for the implementation of traffic calming measures – such as speed humps – on higher order routes, the reason being that these measures would hamper the intended mobility and traffic flow along this route.

“That said, Transport for Cape Town (TCT) will investigate whether any changes to the signal timing are warranted. TCT would generally not intentionally delay the movement of traffic along higher-order routes, but we will investigate whether the synchronisation of the traffic signals will assist in limiting speeding along Vryburger Avenue,” said Mr Herron.