Intelligent Transport System to monitor Eastern Cape roads

SANRAL Southern Region Manager Mbulelo Peterson addressing students at Nelson Mandela University during a lecture tour in Gqeberha.

SANRAL plans to use Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology to monitor the behaviour of motorists on Eastern Cape (EC) roads. the ITS technology is already in place on the Western Cape R61 from Beaufort West towards Aberdeen. Motorists observe the speed limit, but once they cross into the EC they start speeding, which causes accidents.

SANRAL’s Southern Regional Manager, Mbulelo Peterson, told a group of civil engineering students at Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha that the EC has a huge amount of traffic accidents, although there are fewer cars on its roads compared to Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Peterson said SANRAL is not only concerned about the condition of the country’s roads network but also about improving the safety of people using these routes and the communities living along them.

“If you look over the December or Easter period in particular, you hear about accidents around the Aberdeen and surrounding areas. We want to extend the system used in the Western Cape up to Graaff-Reinet. However, we are still deciding if we will be using it on the N9 towards Middleburg or the R63 towards Pearston. We have already appointed a service provider and we know that the Graaff-Reinet area will be covered. Studies will tell us whether to go on the R61 towards the Transkei or towards East London,” Peterson added.

The system includes installation of CCTV cameras on the targeted routes, which will be monitored and controlled from the SANRAL offices in Gqeberha. There are plans to put another monitoring centre in East London. System operators will be able to inform the emergency services when an accident takes place.

“We will also have a vehicle detection system that will assist police in tracking vehicles involved in incidents, because we will have a full description of that specific vehicle,” said Peterson.

He said that the ITS will also assist the EC where there is snowfall or protests, so that traffic can be directed to alternative routes.