The second phase of the CCTV level crossing camera enforcement system, first implemented at the White Road level crossing, will be extended to the Buttskop railway crossing.
Robin Carlisle, Minister of Transport and Public Works and Metrorail Regional Manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz were on site at the Buttskop level crossing to commemorate International Level Crossing Awareness Day on 7 May 2013.
The site was the scene of a horrific mini-bus taxi crash in 2010, that saw 10 children tragically losing their lives, and others seriously injured.
“It is fitting that we commemorate this day at this site, the place where a tragic crash on 25 August 2010 claimed 10 innocent lives. That day should never be forgotten, and must continue to serve as a reminder of the horror that reckless and irresponsible driving can inflict on those most vulnerable, namely passengers and pedestrians,” said Minister Carlisle.
“With the CCTV level crossing camera enforcement system, offenders will face stiff fines, starting at R500 for failure to stop before crossing the level crossing. They may also face arrest and charges of reckless and negligent driving, for example, if the booms are ignored.
“We hope that the effects that this CCTV enforcement has had on White Road will also be felt at Buttskop, with drivers changing their behaviour and adhering to the rules of the road,” added Minister Carlisle.
Since the initial implementation at White Road in June 2012 up until December 2012, a total of 1 379 fines were issued for failure to stop at the level crossing. This year, from January till April, a total of 739 fines were issued.
“We are concerned that at two of our most notorious level crossings namely Military Road (Steenberg) and Buttskop (Blackheath) incidents of errant motorists flouting life-saving signage have increased, proving just how lax the overwhelming majority of motorists are about their personal safety,” said Mthuthuzeli Swartz.
“Trains have their headlights on bright and drivers are obligated to sound sirens on approach to level crossings.
"Motorists must help us by being extra careful and cautious when approaching level crossings,” added Mr Swartz.
The initial project was the first of its kind in South Africa and was dogged by a series of trial and error phases. This has been a learning experience that has seen this project now extended.
A joint effort by the Western Cape Ministry of Transport and Public Works, City of Cape Town Traffic Services, Metrorail Western Cape and technical partner Syntell, kept the project alive. As of 15 May 2013 the second phase of this project will be fully operational.