New road studs save lives, money and create jobs
The Department has been known to be a facilitation ground when it comes to
new road inventions - be it in road safety or road construction.
It is not surprising that KwaZulu Natal MEC for Transport, Mr Sbu Ndebele,
accompanied by Transport CEO, Dr Kwazi Mbanjwa, have launched new road studs
that are designed to save lives.
product will not only save money, but will also provide job opportunities for
local people who are sub-contracted to install them. Mr Ndebele said: "We
hope to be able to manufacture it like Malaysia is doing already. Malaysia is
the only country that is manufacturing it other than Britain. The demand for the
product from local, provincial and national government structures and agencies
will justify the decision to set up a manufacturing company locally in
partnership with Britain.
"The place we have identified is the one between
Babanango and Ulundi – it’s bad in terms of fog. Already, thirty-six
kilometres of the new road studs have been installed in Melmoth at the tune of
R5 million. Again there are red spots in areas like Harding. It’s places like
these where we are focussing on. After targeting dangerous spots, we will then
roll it out everywhere," Mr Ndebele added.
Minister Ndebele rang a serious warning for people who steal
IRS. He said that the long arm of the law would follow those who commit such
Welcoming the new road studs, Dr Mbanjwa noted that the new
road studs had a longer life span of twenty-seven years, and a battery life that
lasted for eight years. The old ones lasted for only three years, he added.
"These devices are new technology ‘Cat Eyes’ that go
beyond just reflecting a vehicle’s headlights but increase visibility by up to
ten times further than its predecessors thus delineating the roadway for up to a
kilometre ahead," Dr Mbanjwa explained.
Minister Ndebele stated that it was the mandated goal of the
department to create a safe road environment and to annually reduce the number
of crashes on provincial roads.
"We will do this through a holistic programme that
addresses all the known causes of road crashes including...the re-engineering of
hazardous locations," said Ndebele adding that Melmoth was chosen as the
location to launch the new Intelligent Road Studs (IRS) because of the recent
road tragedy that saw 13 people die there.
He said studies show that the Ulundi/Melmoth Road has several
high danger spots and that the IRS will assist in addressing some of the issues.
Intelligent Road Studs also address older driver vision needs because driver's
visual capabilities decline with age.
The Intelligent Road Studs (IRS) can be used in the following
Accident black spots;
Sites which frequently experience adverse conditions
such as rain or fog;
Bends and junctions;
Entrances to and interiors to channels;