CCTV for Cape Town level crossings

The Cape Town metropolitan area has introduced a closed circuit television (CCTV) camera system at level crossings to catch road traffic offenders in the act.

The video surveillance project was launched by the Western Cape department of transport and public works, South Africa's urban train provider Metrorail, and local road safety firm Syntell.

The cameras will register the number plates of vehicles failing to stop at red lights, with offenders subsequently receiving traffic violation fines starting from R500. Drivers found to be in serious breaches of the law will face arrest.

Train drivers have been instructed to travel at all times with full lights on and to use their sirens when approaching level crossings.

Cape Town's CCTV scheme is the first of its kind in South Africa and is expected to be introduced at level crossings across the Western Cape province once the system is proved effective in reducing dangerous driving.

Residents of Buttskop near Blackheath in Cape Town are hoping that their level crossing will receive cameras in the potential roll-out of the system. In 2010 a taxi driver caused the deaths of 10 children when he overtook a row of stopped cars at the Buttskop crossing, ignoring safety signals, and drove onto the tracks where his taxi was hit by the oncoming train.