Travelling between Pretoria and Johannesburg has become considerably safer since the implementation of the intelligent Freeway Management System (FMS) in Gauteng over the past few years, Tembisan reports.
The FMS assists motorists to plan and better navigate their way through traffic with the provision of real-time information on travel times and incidents on Sanral freeways in the province. Medical, mechanical and law enforcement teams can now respond to an incident between six and 18 minutes, says Progress Hlahla, regional manager for Sanral in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo.
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Accidents make up around 15% of the total incidents on the Gauteng freeway network.
FMS is active on about 251km of freeways in Gauteng and currently includes 10 incident response units, 10 towing recovery units, eight units for heavy recovery units and six motorcycle medical response units stationed at strategic points on the freeways. All these units are comprised of highly trained first responders with specialised equipment and are operational 24-hours a day.
The FMS system makes use of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technologies, which involve the integrated deployment of communications technologies, traffic management software and control devices such as closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), variable message signs (VMS) and traffic detectors to manage and monitor the freeways.
Using these technologies, the system feeds live footage to Sanral’s Central Operations Centre, which allows the roads agency to continually improve its management of the road network. Working with metro police departments and roads agencies in Tshwane, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, who contribute to effective routine road maintenance, ensuring the removal of road obstructions and hazards.
“Travelling between the two cities can take up to one hour and 30 minutes in peak morning and afternoon traffic. Our system is built for quick responses to various incidents so that users of our roads have less to worry about after a long day at work,” says Hlahla.
“We understand how our roads impact the lives of ordinary South Africans and are cognizant of the fact that we need well-managed roads to meet the economic goals of our country,” says Hlahla.
In addition to the time saving, the FMS also presents fuel saving benefits for road users if they are able to factor in the real-time updated information from Sanral’s VMS communications or on i-traffic (i-traffic.co.za / @itrafficgp on Twitter) into their trip.
The FMS system deals with an average of 3 000 traffic-related incidents a month, with the majority of these being stationary vehicles on the freeways. Accidents make up around 15% of the total incidents on the Gauteng freeway network.
“With the success of the initial system in Gauteng, we aim to expand the existing footprint with the hope that we will make roads in the region safer,” says Hlahla.
The FMS system has also been implemented in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.