Cops argue as traffic light failure paralyses Cape Town suburbs

13 February 2019 - 08:27 By Dave Chambers
Cape Town's southern suburbs were one big traffic jam on Wednesday morning.
Cape Town's southern suburbs were one big traffic jam on Wednesday morning.
Image: 123rf/Khongkit Wiriyachan

Commuters from Cape Town’s southern suburbs faced a traffic nightmare on Wednesday morning as a key set of robots remained out of action 18 hours after failing.

The lights at the intersection of the M3, Rhodes Drive and Newlands Avenue failed due to load-shedding shortly after lunch on Tuesday.

City of Cape Town traffic services spokesman Richard Coleman said pointsmen were doing their best to keep traffic moving, but the M3 was backed up for several kilometres to Tokai on Wednesday.

TimesLIVE saw four traffic officers — two on foot and two on motorcycles — embroiled in a lengthy argument in the middle of the problem intersection around 7.15pm, with frustrated motorists hooting.

Officers gesticulated and jabbed their fingers in each others’ faces while all four sets of traffic at the intersection were stationary.

Coleman said because the intersection was near several others controlled by traffic lights it was difficult to control manually.

“You can’t just pull traffic through because it will back up from the next robot along,” he said.

He suspected that load-shedding on Tuesday had caused a circuit in the robots to trip, and said technicians would be there on Wednesday.


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