File photo: Melinda Stuurman.

The high-tech number plate recognition cameras on Cape Town’s N2 bus and minibus taxi (BMT) lane – switched off more than two years ago – have been turned back on.

JP Smith, the city’s safety and security mayoral committee member, confirmed yesterday that the cameras had been reinstalled two months ago and were fully operational.

The cameras were not only capturing private vehicles using the dedicated public transport lane between 5.30am and 9am, but were also monitoring driver speed over distance.

Motorists who used the BMT lane, or who were speeding into the city on the N2 over the festive season, should expect a fine in the post any day now, Smith said.

“The black speed-over-distance cameras are also linked to the camera network at the Transport Management Centre in Goodwood,” he said.

“So drivers who are guilty of speeding from near the Modderdam Road and Vanguard Drive bridges can expect their fines in due course.”

The cameras were first installed in August 2007 and turned off in September 2010 because they were not effective enough, Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said at the time.

Motorists knew where the cameras were mounted under bridges, and dipped in and out of the lane to dodge them.

Yesterday, Smith said the weekly operations by city traffic services staff and the Ghost Squad to stop and fine people caught dipping in and out of the lane would continue.

The lane reduces travelling time from Khayelitsha to the city by about 23 minutes.

The mayoral committee proposed yesterday that, as part of the 2012/13 adjustment budget, the safety and security budget be increased by R6.7 million for 30 extra traffic officers and vehicles, radios and firearms. -Cape Argus