At the commencement point of the new lane, this regulatory and prohibition sign is on display. These signs reiterate the advance message as per the 400m signage. Photo: CoCT

CAPE TOWN - Drivers of heavy vehicles who ignore the compulsory heavy vehicles only lane at the bottom of Ou Kaapse Weg will from Monday be subject to prosecution, the City of Cape Town said.

The city had recently completed the installation of the final phase of a high-tech automated camera enforcement system relating to the compulsory heavy vehicles stop on the Ou Kaapse Weg approach to Steenberg Road. 

The system was capable of capturing numerous transgressions and was expected to further improve traffic safety on this downhill approach, the city said in a statement on Sunday.

The city had also recently upgraded the signage along Ou Kaapse Weg to clarify the correct usage of the compulsory truck stop on Ou Kaapse Weg. 

Although the previous signage was legally enforceable, it had been revised in response to feedback from motorists who indicated that they did not understand the signage. The upgraded signage system comprised two sets of signage which conveyed what actions were expected from the drivers of light motor vehicles and heavy vehicles, respectively.

"The signs are repeated three times in each case. In so doing we’re exceeding the minimum legal requirements by far. Relevant regulatory signs are also displayed at appropriate positions. We’ve opted to upgrade signage to exceed the minimum standards in a bid to achieve greater levels of compliance and in the interest of road safety," mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Felicity Purchase said.

"The automated enforcement which currently takes place for any vehicle transgressing the stop sign in the heavy vehicle lane will be expanded to include other traffic transgressions as of Monday. These will include automated monitoring of vehicles in excess of 3.5 tons failing to enter the compulsory heavy vehicle lane, and light motor vehicles abusing the heavy vehicle lane.

"Drivers of light motor vehicles should take note that those who disregard the regulatory reservation signs applicable to heavy vehicles will be automatically charged with that offence, as well as for failure to obey a stop sign," Purchase said.

"The purpose of this system is to prevent crashes involving runaway heavy vehicles, which typically occur at the Steenberg Road junction and not at the tighter hairpin bend further up the hill. These collisions mostly relate to drivers of heavy vehicles misjudging the extent of the downhill grade. This solution ensures that heavy vehicle drivers maintain lower gears and therefore preserve their brakes in order to stop at the compulsory stop," she said.

African News Agency (ANA)