Harare City Council acting operations manager (public lighting) Calvin Chigariro said the new traffic management system would improve traffic flow thereby reducing the number of accidents occurring at intersections.
Motorists who violate traffic laws can also be captured on cameras, he said. “This implies that traffic violations can be monitored without the need of physically deploying police details at the junctions,” said Chigariro.
Harare’s traffic signalling system consists of a total of 186 controlled intersections, of which 75% of these are not functioning properly. Chigariro said the new system will also reduce maintenance costs as no bulb replacements are necessary, a move which would save almost US$ 30 000 per annum.
Chigariro added that the project would facilitate improved maintenance through early detection and reporting of faulty signal operation. He said the programme is being hampered by lack of finance as the local authority relies heavily on money paid by ratepayers.
Apart from improving the traffic system, the council is also seeking to reduce power consumption through use of energy-saving mechanisms. The city’s director engineering services Engineer Philip Pfukwa said several manufacturers were pursuing research and development into lighting that could replace the current high intensity discharge lamps.
He said the new lights are now functioning in some parts of the central business district.The system is buttressed by the use of CBD solar traffic signals.
The city would need at least US$1,8 million to complete the project.