Johannesburg - The robot jumped out in front of me - it’s an old joke insurance companies claim some clients use when trying to justify why they hit a traffic signal.
This time, however, they should be believed.
In what appears to be an extreme oddity, a traffic light is standing in the road at the intersection of Oak Avenue and Middle Lane, near Comaro Crossing Shopping Centre, in the south of Johannesburg.
But DA councillor Basil Douglas failed to see the funny side of it.
“This is criminal and another manifestation and evidence of the actions of the Johannesburg Roads Agency and its incompetence, by confusing and endangering the lives of motorists and pedestrians,” he said.
“The road sign clearly shows that motorists should turn left, guiding them straight into the robot.”
The JRA has apologised for the error.
Spokesman Bertha Peters-Scheepers said the incorrect installation of the intersection, and the resultant impact on the community, was “regrettable and unfortunate” and it would be removed on Monday.
She explained: “This intersection preceded the development in the area and, as part of the area’s development by a private developer, the road was widened. Unfortunately the traffic signal was never moved, rendering the signal in contravention of the approved design.”
The JRA had not yet taken ownership of the installation as it had been attempting to get the developer to rectify the mistake at its cost.
“However, to ensure the safety of road users and, as a temporary measure, the JRA will remove the traffic signal.
“The new layout for the intersection, in line with the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual, has been developed and the work will be undertaken shortly,” Peters-Scheepers said.