Motorists who ignore new traffic lights at the low-level 3rd Avenue bridge in Newton Park will be fined R1 500 after an early warning system was activated yesterday.
Safety and security mayoral committee member John Best said the boom gate and bollard system had proven ineffective as motorists either cut the locks or removed the poles.
“Disaster management and the IT department came up with an idea and concept we believe could work,” he said.
Best said it was standard procedure to receive warnings from the weather office ahead of heavy rains.
“When we get the warnings, we will send officials down to the dip to see how much it has rained. That is when it will be decided whether to close the bridge.”
A call would then be made to the South End Fire Station control room, and traffic lights at the bridge – operated remotely from the control room – would be switched to red.
The project cost R100 000 but if rolled out to more low-lying areas the price would decrease.
“It was high because it was still in the planning phase and making sure it worked.
“Now it does and the plan is to roll it out city-wide,” he said. There are five other low-level bridges in the city.
During a live testing yesterday, the traffic lights only showed an amber colour but Best said this would be fixed soon.
A sign will also be put up warning people of the fine. The boom gate and bollards will be removed within the next six months.
“We will keep the boom gates in place until we are confident the system is perfectly safe.”