How effective is the ASOD system in reducing road fatalities?

In an attempt to address speeding and promote road safety, the City of Cape Town installed an Average Speed over Distance (ASOD) camera system on Nelson Mandela Boulevard late last year.

The Average Speed over Distance (ASOD) system is a form of Average Speed Enforcement (ASE), which uses cameras equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to measure the speed of all vehicles travelling on Nelson Mandela Boulevard.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Jean-Pierre Smith, said that the city has seen a significant reduction in road fatalities particularly on the M5. He says the M5 had a high accident rate before the installation of ASOD but that has all changed.

Image:mybroadband.co.za

Do drivers understand how ASOD works?

A study by Dr Thinus Booysen, Senior Lecturer at Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University on the behaviour of passenger vehicles and minibus taxis has shown that there are some drivers who still don’t understand how the system works.

Talking on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies, Dr Booysen said that they also conducted a survey to find out if motorists understood how the ASOD system works. The findings were that 80 percent of drivers had no idea how the system works. They also discovered that motorists slowed down when approaching the cameras and sped immediately after passing, thinking they work just like normal speed cameras.

A prerequisite is that people understand how it works.

To know how the ASOD system works click here.

What impact does ASOD have?

Dr Booysen said that the study showed that the ASOD system works and that there is global record that proves that. According to Dr Booysen the enforcement of ASOD has shown huge improvements in Netherladns, UK and Australia.

In South Africa the ASOD reduced speeding significantly in and out of enforcement areas and, not only speeding, but it also reduced the fatality rate.

According to JP Smith, the ASOD systems also have a positive effect on speeding patterns. Motorists have reduced speed in areas where the ASOD is installed. Smith also said that the City has plans underway to add more locations where ASOD system will be placed, hopefully before the end of this year.

The challenge with the ASOD system is that it cannot be installed on routes that have too many intersections or near a traffic circle. The system is more expensive than static cameras and it brings in less money.

The payment of traffic fines has since increased between 38 percent and 43 percent, but Smith says they are looking at increasing the numbers by 20 percent.

On the other hand, messages of condolence are flooding in following the death of South Africa soccer star Richard Henyekane. Henyekane met his untimely death in Bethlehem while travelling with four other passengers when they were involved in a tragic motor vehicle accident. It is reported that Henyekane was the only one to lose his life.

At the age of 26 Henyekane made his debut playing for Bafana Bafana in a 3-1 loss to Serbia. In 2010, he earned a move to Sundowns, where he spent three seasons, before moving to Ea Lla Koto, initially on-loan in 2013/14 and then on a permanent transfer at the beginning of this season. Henyekane made nine appearances for South Africa in 2009.

His brother Joseph Henyekane passed away in December 2014 at the age of 30. He played for Golden Arrows as well as Mpumalanga Black Aces and Bidvest Wits.

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