The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department has introduced new “intelligent” road studs, or cat’s eyes, in the province that it says improves visibility by up to 10 times and can reduce road accidents at night. Should they be introduced in the rest of the country?

The KwaZulu-Natal Transport Department has introduced new “intelligent” road studs, or cat’s eyes, in the province that it says improves visibility by up to 10 times and can reduce road accidents at night.

KZN Transport MEC S’bu Ndebele launched the pilot project at Mthonjaneni, Melmoth, on Tuesday. It was tested for the past six months on a 38-km stretch of road between Melmoth and Ulundi.

Department spokesman Thabang Chiloane told CARtoday.com the studs are powered by solar energy. He said the studs are capable of improving visibility at night by up to 10 times compared with conventional ones. The new road studs are visible from a distance of 900m compared to the old cats eyes, which are visible from 80m.

“They are also different to normal studs in that they are embedded in the road and do not stick out. They absorb energy during the day and shine at night. Once powered up they shine for 14 days without needing to recharge. Normal conventional studs only last for about two years, while these last between eight and 10 years. It costs R67 for each stud. They are made in England, but if there is enough interest in South Africa they could be manufactured here.

“These new studs will help motorists see better at night when they approach bends and make them aware of other hazards on the roads. It will help us reduce road accidents. We installed 7 800 studs on the road between Melmoth and Ulundi where we have about 300 accidents annually, which has cost us about R24 million. In the six months that the studs have been in place we have not had one accident,” Chiloane said.

Is visibility at night a problem? Should they be introduced in other parts of the country?

Original article from Car