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It’s lights out at busy intersections – the work of criminals who targeted particular components in the city’s high-tech traffic lights.

About R8,8 million will be needed to replace components that were stolen from over 400 of the city’s high-tech traffic lights during the past three months.

Theft of traffic light components is costing the City a fortuneTheft of traffic lights components is costing the City a fortuneThe high-tech traffic lights scattered across the city use a sim card, modem and GPS system to send and receive information.

The components were ripped out by the criminals from the traffic lights and used to make unlimited calls that have cost JRA a lot of money.

Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) spokesperson Thulani Makhubela described the thefts as a huge blow.

 “The JRA has been severely affected with this crime and this now means we have to fork out more money on something that we should not have spent a cent on,” said Makhubela.
 
Makhubela said they cancelled all the sim cards and were working closely with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) to combat the crime.

“We don’t know who is involved but we hope to get to the bottom of it,” said Makhubela.

However, ordinary traffic lights have not been damaged.

Makhubela said they were working with suppliers to see what other measures can be put in place to secure traffic lights.

In early December 2010 there were also reports of thieves removing traffic light poles to sell them for scrap metal.

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