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[WATCH] Traffic management systems 'not worthy of country's aspirations'

Minister wants Transport Malta to accelerate work on a control centre that makes use of cameras already installed

Yannick Pace
28 August 2017, 11:15am
Ian Borg said he was urging Transport Malta to make better use of its cameras and aerial images to help direct traffic
Ian Borg said he was urging Transport Malta to make better use of its cameras and aerial images to help direct traffic
Traffic management systems 'not worthy of country's aspirations'
The current technological infrastructure being used to manage traffic on Malta’s roads is not good enough for a European nation in 2017, according to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Ian Borg.

Speaking at a press conference on roadworks carried out across the island so far in this legislature, Borg said that while government would be increasing the number of transport officials on the roads in order to help manage traffic more effectively

He warned however that transport officers or policemen directing traffic could only do as much as their eyes could see and that a better use of technology would make the task significantly easier.

“Technology can help,” he insisted. ”I am urging Transport Malta to accelerate work on a control centre that uses the cameras it already has in the roads and to use other methods like aerial images that would allow the centre to communicate with people on the ground”.

Moreover, Borg said that efforts were also being made to ensure that the government’s pledge for a transport safety agency to be set up. The agency, he said, would analyse issues related to safety and make recommendations to the relevant authorities.

He said that as things stand, the only accidents that are investigated are fatal or very serious accidents. Furthermore, he said that this was done through a magisterial inquiry, which only seeks to determine culpability and which is a legal exercise, rather than a safety planning one.

Borg said that the agency would include maritime and aviation safety, and would be expected carry out investigations in a “pro-active” manner, and not only in response to accidents.

The minister explained that so far this legislature, work had been carried out on a number of roads and junctions, some of which were small but which contributed to more efficiency and increased safety.

"It’s no secret there are a number of inconveniences on roads" said Borg, adding that better safety was also a consideration driving the many ongoing works.

He insisted that the responsibility was shared between those drafting policy as well as people who use the roads, highlighting the importance of appropriate road design and capacity.

He said the Kappara flyover was on-time and would be completed by the end of September, in time for the start of the scholastic year. The Marsa fly-over would also be started on time, he said.

Works which had already been started included ongoing works in LIja, Gudja, as well as Qormi where Manwel Dimech Street – the road connecting Qormi and Hamrun– will be broadened to two lanes on each side of the road.

Borg said there was also an intervention taking place at the junction at the bottom of the road connecting Luqa and Marsa, close to the St Vincent De Paul Home for the Elderly, which he said was an accident black-spot.

He stressed that the widening of roads, and alterations to junctions would not solve the transport problem while emphasising the need for increased use of public transport as well as more education aimed at reducing negligence on the part of motorists. 

Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...