Skip to content





Muizenberg truck-eater bridge’s insatiable appetite supressed<p>​The sensor system includes Variable Message Signs (VMS) and flashing lights. It uses an infrared laser beam to read the height of oncoming vehicles and their load in order to switch the signs and flashing lights on and off again when the vehicle has passed a pre-determined point. <br></p><div>Should it detect that a vehicle in the turning lane is higher than 2,5 m from the road surface, a warning system is triggered at the intersection with Atlantic Road – a signboard with high power LED lights will flash for about 30 seconds, indicating to the driver that their vehicle is too high to cross underneath the railway bridge.</div><div><br></div><div>The VMS signs are very conspicuous and visible to drivers and, even though the detectors do not need to be visible, they are placed along or above the road on signage or on the signalling infrastructure. The laser that is used is manufactured following the Class 1 eye-safety standard and is safe for both humans and animals.</div><div><br></div><div>‘October is Transport Month, and during this month we showcase our transport successes. This year’s programme highlights transport infrastructure across Cape Town and innovative interventions to benefit road users.</div><div><br></div><div>‘We have tried various options to reduce the frequency of incidents involving over-height trucks from crashing into the bridge and the laser detection system is certainly the best solution. Before this system was in place, a number of trucks got stuck under this bridge, sometimes two trucks in one day. </div><div><br></div><div>‘Thankfully, since the installation of this innovative system, the incidents have reduced significantly. Considering that the Western Cape has approximately 30% more trucks on our roads than 10 years ago, we are doing well as the incidents have decreased with less than one incident per month. For some, the incidents were a source of entertainment, for others a financial headache. </div><div><br></div><div>‘Hopefully, as more truck drivers become aware of the VMS system and act accordingly, trucks getting stuck under the railway bridge will become a thing of the past and the Muizenberg truck-eater bridge’s appetite will be satisfied.</div><div><br></div><div>‘This installation also speaks to our commitment to leveraging technology for progress by deploying innovative and effective technologies to improve mobility across Cape Town,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>The crash results are encouraging:</strong></div><div>•<span style="white-space:pre;"> </span>According to reported crash data, there has been a marked decrease in bridge collisions. </div><div>•<span style="white-space:pre;"> </span>The number of crashes that occurred at the Atlantic Road rail bridge dropped from 43 in 2020 down to 26 in 2021 and 9 in the year to date.</div><div><br></div><div>‘The critical factor remains for drivers of heavy duty vehicles to be aware of their vehicle height and to pay attention to the signage. Interestingly, three years ago we stopped 24 truck drivers and asked them if they knew the height of their trucks. To our surprise none of them knew. This explains why we had such a high number of incidents. The onus is still on the drivers to adhere to the warnings if triggered,’ said Councillor Quintas.</div><div><br></div><div>End<br></div><p><br></p>2022-10-08T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#7cc7a47a-7915-4274-a19e-e977c5a945e0;L0|#07cc7a47a-7915-4274-a19e-e977c5a945e0|traffic;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb1Media Office, City of Cape Town0

You have disabled JavaScript on your browser.
Please enable it in order to use City online applications.