Cape Town 120607- footage of motorists speeding over the White road level crossing in Retreat.Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Clayton/Argus

Western Cape traffic authorities have officially started using camera footage to nail motorists who fail to stop at railway level crossings.

Speaking on Thursday at the White Road level crossing in Steenberg, transport and public works MEC Robin Carlisle said the first group of motorists who had ignored the stop sign at that crossing would receive fines in the post from Friday. The camera was installed next to the White Road crossing in June 2011.

JP Smith, the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, confirmed that fines would be issued from verified camera footage and that traffic operations had been launched at level crossings from Thursday to nab drivers.

Carlisle said the city’s traffic services, together with Metrorail, would be prosecuting anyone who failed to stop at the crossing.

“The camera footage will be used as evidence.”

“The National Prosecuting Authority has approved this measure and now we are starting to prosecute,” Carlisle said.

“Offenders will face stiff fines, starting at R500 for failure to stop, and may face arrest and charges of reckless and negligent driving in more serious cases, for example if the booms are ignored.

“The project at White Road is the first of its kind in SA and was dogged by a series of mis-starts, and trial-and-error phases.”

Camera footage taken at the White Road crossing, which was show on Thursday, showed motorists yielding or simply speeding over the railway line, ignoring a clearly marked stop sign.

Carlisle’s office also announced on Thursday that proper traffic lights - to leave drivers in no doubt as to when they had to stop for trains - would be installed “within the next year or so”. - Cape Argus