This one way sign was erected last week in Leila's Lane in Wilderness, but drivers who did not spot it were fined R1 500.
GEORGE NEWS - Gerd Fros (72), an Oudtshoorn resident who went to spend a peaceful day of angling in Wilderness at the end of November, had his trip ruined when he was given a R1 500 fine for driving down Leila's Lane into Wilderness. The lane became a one way street after road signage was installed and markings were completed on 25 November.
The enraged Fros, who was fined on 27 November, said he was totally caught by surprise.
It turns out that several other Wilderness residents were caught in a similar fashion. Now the Wilderness Ratepayers Association is demanding to know why this road in the heart of town was made a one way.
Harold Basson, director of the George Municipal Civil Engineering Services Department however, this week said that the intended road change had been advertised in July this year, and residents living near Leila's Lane were informed by letter. He also said that double the required amount of signage had been installed.
Wilderness Ratepayers Association committee member Paul Nicholas said traffic officials were asked to be on stand-by to re-direct traffic on the days that the signage was changed last week.
Instead, they dished out these hefty fines. "I never saw any one way sign," said Fros, who lived in Wilderness for many years and owned an engineering company for six years, but is now a pensioner. Some residents feel that the paint on the road-marking arrows had barely dried when overzealous cops arrived to dish out fines and refused to let road users off the hook with a warning. Fros's complaint was forwarded to the George Municipality for comment last Thursday.
One way was advertised
Basson said the primary reason for the change of Leila's Lane to a one way, undertaken earlier this year, was to improve the traffic flow in the central business district of Wilderness.
This also allowed for an increase of space for pedestrians and additional parking for vehicles. The proposed change was advertised in the George Herald during July 2014 and registered letters were sent to those property owners neighbouring Leila's Lane. "All road signage has been erected in accordance with the South African Road Traffic Signage Manual. George Municipality has put up additional signage, and clear road markings have been used to clearly mark the new one way," said Basson.
Traffic fines are set annually by the Department of Justice, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Traffic Chiefs of the Western Cape Province.
Down a one way street. Oudtshoorn resident Gerd Fros is unhappy about the R1 500 fine he was given for driving down Leila's Lane in the heart of Wilderness, which became a one way last week. Photos: Pauline Lourens
ARTICLE AND PHOTOS: PAULINE LOURENS, GEORGE HERALD JOURNALIST
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