Dangerous driving at Newlands intersection

A traffic camera has caught more than 4 400 motorists speeding through a busy three-road intersection in Newlands, and more than 1 500 jumping the red light, in the past five months.

There have been six accidents at the intersection of Paradise Road and Union and Newlands avenues so far this year, according to the City of Cape Town’s traffic services.

It’s a 60km/h zone but speeds have topped out at 100km/h in January, 130km/h in February, 105km/h in March, 132km/h in April and 105km/h in May.

Most of the red-light jumping happens between 5am and 8pm, the speeding between 7am and 11am.

Ward councillor Ian Iversen said traffic fines did not seem to be enough of a deterrent to stop the traffic violations.

“Maybe magistrates should sentence some of the worst offenders to work in the casualty wards at a state hospital on a Friday and Saturday night,” he said.

If a car darting through a red light at more than 100km/* hit sanother vehicle or a pedestrian it was likely to kill someone, he warned.

“I can’t wait for the introduction of the penalty scheme to be introduced so that people will lose their driver’s licence if they receive a certain number of demerit points,” he said.

He also wants the authorities to publish photographs and addresses of “those who ignore the rules of the road and put other people’s lives at risk”.

William Crookson, a Newlands resident and motorist who uses the intersection daily, blamed driver negligence for the problems there.

“You can have all the signs and robots up, but if the driver on that day feels like ignoring those signs and signals, what good are those traffic measures? So it all comes down to the driver of the vehicle,” he said.

Samantha Davies, of Rondebosch, said more visible policing at the spot might help.

“If people saw traffic officers constantly stationed at this intersection, they will reconsider attempting to break the rules of the road. Because there is nothing and only cameras; some of these drivers will constantly disobey the rules of the road,” she said. “Motorist must understand that their actions could not only affect their lives, but the lives of other motorist around them.”

Traffic services spokeswoman Maxine Bezuidenhout, said despite large daily volumes of traffic at the intersection it wasn’t regarded as one of the more problematic ones.

“Yes, concerns were received, but concerns were addressed and the intersection is monitored and enforced on an ad hoc basis,” she said.