Vigilance and ScrutinyJuly 31, 2022
Plett Water MattersSeptember 1, 2022
Last May quite out of the blue written instructions were added to the standard traffic signs at the Dolphin circle at the corner of Marine Drive and Main Street – arguably the busiest intersection in Plett.
This strange and unlawful anomaly (it is illegal to attach anything to a pole carrying a traffic sign) predictably has caused confusion and discomfort for motorists having to deal with it. The debate and comments on social media and queries received from our members underscore the confusion this has caused.
Effectively it meant that this important intersection has become a mini-circle, “First come first served” which is just another way of saying a 3-way stop, rather than “yielding to the right” as we approach the other seven traffic islands in Plett.
Standardization in traffic signs and markings are intended to allow motorists to be sure that a given situation will always be treated in the same way by all motorists. Thereby, it gives motorists the assurance that other motorists will be acting in a predictable manner and they may treat the situation accordingly, rather than having to concentrate on hastily reading non-standard written instructions.
Given the congestion at that intersection, exacerbated by construction activities and pedestrians crossing, it is imperative that motorists concentrate on their driving and surroundings rather than get distracted by trying to read a new set of rules and non-standard instructions which have no place on traffic signs and is exactly what standardization seeks to avoid.
We have obtained expert advice that the signs are illegal and have written to the authorities requesting their immediate removal, but our requests have fallen on deaf ears. The situation is not only illegal but it poses a real danger of an accident exposing the municipality to damages claims.
We must now demand that the municipality rectify this blatantly illegal and dangerous situation.
We ask for your support and encourage you to write to your ward councillor, who is also the mayor (DSwart@plett.gov.za) requesting that they remove these confusing signs.