Digital traffic lights installed in Nairobi, awaits CCTV cameras

Digital traffic lights installed in Nairobi, awaits CCTV cameras

CC image courtesy of Dan Kori, on Flickr.

The Kenyan government has moved to realise a digital system to control Nairobi traffic by installing new lights with countdown timers to free up the number of police officers who control roundabouts and junctions across the city.

The integrated traffic and security system will also involve the installation of closed circuit television (CCTV).

Currently several areas including the Haile Selassie, Westlands roundabout on Waiyaki Way and Kenyatta Avenue-Uhuru Highway roundabout have seen the lights replaced.

The new system will be directed from a control room which is yet to be installed, fitted with screens from butterfly cameras installed along the roads to monitor which roads have heavy traffic so as to give them priority.

Patrick Lumumba, Nairobi area traffic boss, said: “The lights will be synchronized in such a way that the operators in the control room can control the flow in such a way they give that side with more vehicles more time.”

Though police are still controlling traffic at the points awaiting the control room completion, the masts and lights have been installed and some of the lights are functioning.

“We will still have traffic police officers at some stations who will be present in case of power failures and accidents. The CCTV will also aid us to numb motorists who flaunt traffic rules and run red lights, ”Lumumba added.

The project follows a May 2012 KSh8.5 billion (US$97.4 million) grant from the Chinese government for installation of CCTV in major cities and towns around the country which came in the wake of sustained terrorist attacks.

In this first phase that will cover the central business district, 51 cameras are expected to be installed to aid security and traffic management at Kirinyaga Road, Gikomba, Kenyatta National Hospital, Machakos Country Bus Station and Muthurwa Market.

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