NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – Police will soon stop manning roundabouts and junctions in Nairobi once the new digital traffic light systems are installed in all parts of the city.
Nairobi Deputy Traffic Commandant Leonard Katana told Capital FM News on Tuesday that only a few officers will be deployed to monitor traffic flow but will not interfere with the lights.
“When these lights become operational, we shall only have two officers just to monitor how the lights are and also to monitor those who want to jump the lights and should anyone do so, he will be arrested,” he stated.
He said the lights will be synchronised in such a way that the operators in the control room can manage the flow at all times.
“We have a control punch which can be controlled automatically and manually. Those officers who shall be involved in timing will monitor the traffic so that if it too much on one side, they will be given more time,” he stated.
Police in conjunction with the county authorities are currently installing CCTV cameras at strategic positions to capture motorists who do not obey the traffic lights.
“The pedestrians must make sure that they come to the roundabout next to the road and stop first. They then have to check the lights and if it is green, they go, if it is red then they have to stop,” Katana cautioned.
“Otherwise, we shall also take action against the pedestrian because you cannot jump across when motorists have been given the go-ahead.”
The new traffic lights have a countdown which guides motorists when to stop or move.
Katana said once the installations are complete, a pilot test of the project will be undertaken to determine its effectiveness.
“The whole of Uhuru Highway has traffic lights all the way from Lusaka roundabout up to the University Way roundabout. The only lights we are waiting for to be finished are at the Westlands roundabout,” he said.
“The only reason that you see us sometimes controlling the areas is that we are waiting for it to be finished and then we shall have period where we will test these lights.”
He said motorists who speed and other traffic offenders will be in trouble as the installed cameras are expected to be powerful enough to capture number plates.
In November last year, Chinese firm M/s Nanjing Les Information Technologies won the tender for the installation of CCTV cameras among 27 companies, quoting a price of Sh430 million.
The Integrated Urban Surveillance System (IUSS) project was supposed to have been completed by January 2013.
The project follows a May 2012 Sh8.5 billion grant from the Chinese government for installation of CCTVs in major cities and town around the country which came in the wake of sustained terrorist attacks.