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Cape considers high-res road cameras

Cape Town - High-resolution CCTV cameras that can be used to pick up traffic transgressions – which can then be converted into fines – may soon go up on Hospital Bend.

Although the City of Cape Town has been advised by a senior state advocate that the footage of existing CCTV cameras should not be used for prosecution purposes, the safety and security portfolio committee wants to look at the viability of introducing high-resolution cameras at hot spots across the city.

During peak traffic periods on Hospital Bend, hundreds of drivers illegally change lanes, in order to skip the traffic. Photo: David Ritchie. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Carin Brynard, chairwoman of the portfolio committee, said there was not enough staff to pick up all the transgressions on the road.

Heathcliff Thomas, chief of traffic services, suggested that Hospital Bend would be an ideal testing spot for these cameras.

Currently CCTV cameras may only be used to detect transgressions on the dedicated Bus Minibus Taxi (BMT) lane on the N2.

Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, head of systems integration and special projects, said the city was also looking at retro-fitting its existing cameras with Automatic Number Plate Recognition software. This would also help in arresting offenders.

The capability of the current cameras does not allow traffic officials to focus in or out to identify the registration number of an alleged offending vehicle.

Other concerns about the cameras being used was that they focused either on a specific section of the road, or were out-of-focus if used to look at a wider picture.

The committee agreed to consider a report into the cost implications of using higher-resolution cameras that would be more effective.

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