Regulation 287A of the Road Traffic Regulations deals with the installation requirements
Manner of display of traffic signal
Reg 287A. (1) (a) A traffic signal shall—
(i) comprise of light signals arranged vertically so that the topmost signal is red, the central signal is yellow and the lower signal is green: Provided that—
(aa) the topmost signal may include more than one red light signal arranged horizontally;
(bb) the central light signal may include more than one yellow light signal arranged horizontally;
(cc) the lower light signal may include more than one green light signal arranged vertically or horizontally;
(dd) a special supplementary traffic signal S10L and S10R may be used with only a yellow and a green arrow;
(ee) a pedestrian traffic signal S11 shall comprise two light signals arranged vertically and the upper light signal shall be red and the lower light signal shall be green;
(ff) a special traffic signal S12 may comprise of two light signals arranged vertically and the upper light signal shall be red and the lower light signal shall be green; and
(gg) a pedal cyclist traffic signal S12 shall comprise two light signals arranged vertically and the upper light signal shall be red and the lower light signal shall be green;
(ii) have a basic sequence which shall be red, green, yellow and red and the cycle time shall be such as may be required by the movement of traffic; and
(iii) be so designed that the traffic signal head prevents, as far as possible, any traffic signal from being seen from a direction to which its light signals do not apply.
(b) At a signalised junction, signalised slipway or a signalised pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing, the following traffic signal faces shall be provided for the control of vehicular traffic for each direction from which vehicular traffic may approach the junction, slipway or crossing:
(i) at least two traffic signal faces that contain red light signals shall be provided on the far side of the stop line RTM1 at locations –
(aa) that are not on the near side of a junction or slipway;
(bb) that are not less than six metres from the stop line RTM1;
(cc) such that the two traffic signal faces shall not be less than three metres and not more than 20 metres apart: Provided that where it is unavoidable that the traffic signals are more than 20 metres apart, additional principal traffic signals shall be provided in such a manner that no traffic signals are more than 20 metres apart; and
(dd) at a signalised junction, but not a pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing, where a straight-through movement is permitted from an approach to the junction, and where the roadway continues straight through the junction, a traffic signal face for the control of straight-through movements shall be provided, subject to the requirements of subparagraphs (aa) to (cc), on either side of the roadway on the far side of the junction: Provided that when the roadway is divided at the junction by a constructed median island of adequate width to accommodate a signal, the right-hand traffic signal face shall be situated on the median island.
(ii) At a signalised junction or slipway, but not a pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing, at least one traffic signal face containing a red light signal shall be provided on the near side of the junction or slipway, on the left- or right-hand side of the roadway at a position not further than three metres from the prolongation of the stop line RTM1.
(iii) When a separate left- or right-turn signal is required, at least two traffic signal faces that incorporate a flashing green arrow light signal, flashing green bus light signal or a flashing green tram light signal, shall be provided, one on the far side of the stop line RTM1 subject to subparagraphs (i) (aa) and (bb), and the other on the far or near side;
(iv) A traffic signal which could, prior to the commencement of this subregulation, validly be displayed in terms of the Act, may, notwithstanding the provision of this regulation be displayed on a public road until 31 December 2010.
(c) Additional traffic signal faces may be provided at the junction or crossing at any suitable location, even if the minimum requirements of paragraph (b) have been met.
(d) A slipway for traffic turning left or right at a junction which is traffic signal controlled, shall be separated from the lane to the right or left of such slipway by a constructed island.
(e) When a separate right hand turn light signal is required, at least two traffic signals that incorporate a green arrow light signal shall be provided on two separate supports subject to the requirement of paragraph (d) and at least one of such traffic signals shall be a S8 traffic signal.
(f) A background screen shall be provided for each vehicular signal face, and such background screen shall comply with standard specifications SABS 1459-1988 “Traffic lights”: Provided that traffic signals that could, prior to the commencement of this regulation, be displayed without a background screen may, notwithstanding the provision of this regulation be displayed on a public road until 31 December 2010.
(g) A background screen may be provided for pedestrian and pedal cyclist signal faces and such screens shall comply with standard specifications SABS 1459-1988 “Traffic lights”.
(h) Where it is necessary to increase the conspicuity of a traffic signal, the border of the background screen provided for a signal face may be retro-reflective.
(i) A Traffic Signal Arrow Sign (ST1 to ST5) may be displayed vertically above a traffic signal face to indicate that any light signal installed in the signal face only applies to the direction of movement indicated by the arrow sign.
(2) The traffic control at a junction or pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing may include the use of road signs, road markings and road signals and the control precedence shall be as follows:
(a) A road sign which prohibits or prescribes directional movement of traffic at a junction or pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing which is controlled by a traffic signal, shall have precedence over any light signal which permits right of way.
(b) A light signal that permits right of way shall have precedence over the stop line RTM1.
(c) A light signal that has the significance that traffic shall stop, has precedence over any other road traffic sign or another light signal that permits right of way, except when such other light signal has a higher precedence level. The precedence levels for light signals are as follows, given from the highest to lowest precedence level:
(i) steady or flashing pedestrian and pedal cyclist light signals;
(ii) steady or flashing bus or tram light signals;
(iii) steady or flashing arrow signals, or steady disc signals with traffic signal arrow signs ST1 to ST5; and
(iv) steady disc light signals.
(3) No road sign except –
(a) a street name sign;
(b) a direction route marker sign;
(c) information signs IN14 and IN15 and pedestrian and pedal cyclist signs relating to the function of the traffic signal
(d) a one-way roadway sign;
(e) a no-entry sign;
(f) a left-turn prohibited, right-turn prohibited or a U-turn prohibited sign;
(g) a proceed straight through only, proceed left only, or proceed right only sign;
(h) a pedestrian prohibited sign R218; or
(i) a traffic signal arrow sign ST1 to ST5;
shall be used in conjunction with a traffic signal, and such signs may be mounted on the same post or overhead cantilever or gantry as that of the traffic signal.
(4) When no light signal is illuminated on an approach to a signalised junction, the driver of a vehicle shall act as for a 3-way stop sign R1.3 or a 4-way stop sign R1.4.
(5) A traffic signal may be placed in a mode of operation indicating that it is out of order, and this mode of operation shall be that either all the light signals shall not be illuminated, or that all vehicular red light signals shall be flashing and pedestrian and pedal cyclist light signals shall be switched off.
(6) A flashing red left arrow light signal shall not be used in conjunction with a green man light signal at a junction, provided that the flashing red left arrow light signal shall not be displayed after 31 December 2010.
(7) Every flashing light signal shall operate at a cycle frequency of between one and two flashes per second.
(8) (a) A flashing red signal shall comprise a red disc light signal.
(b) When red flashing signals are used at a railway crossing two light signals shall—
(i) be mounted below stop sign R1 and above railway line hazard marker W403 or W404, as applicable;
(ii) be illuminated in an alternating flashing mode only when a train is approaching; and
(iii) be situated on the near side of the railway crossing, on the left side of each approach roadway.
(9) Overhead lane direction control signals shall—
(a) comprise light signals, S16, S17, S18 and S19 mounted side by side with S16 on the right of S17 and S18 or S19 in advance of S16 and S17 as viewed by a driver, above each lane subjected to reversed flow traffic movement and for both directions of movement: Provided that, if the light signal is a matrix of light sources signals 16 and 17 may comprise one unit for each lane and for both directions of movement in that lane;
(b) conform to the requirements of SABS 1459 “Traffic Lights”;
(c) be so mounted that the centre of the light signals is not more than six comma two metres above the roadway and the lower edge not less than five comma two metres above the roadway; and
(d) not be displayed over a lane to indicate the permitted direction of traffic movement except when such lane is subject to reversed flow in the direction of traffic movement.
(10) A flag shall be 600 millimetres by 600 millimetres and shall be red or orange.
(11) (a) A responsible registered professional engineer or registered professional technologist (engineering) of the road authority concerned shall approve every traffic signal installation at a signalised junction or pedestrian or pedal cyclist crossing, and sign a declaration containing the following:
(i) scaled drawing of the layout of the junction or crossing, indicating lane markings and road layout;
(ii) number, type and location of traffic signal faces;
(iii) number, type and location of pedestrian and pedal cyclist facilities, including pedestrian push buttons;
(iv) phasing, time plans and offset settings;
(v) date of implementation; and
(vi) name, signature and registration number of the engineer or technologist (engineering) who approved the signal, and date of signature.
(b) The declaration shall be kept by the road authority in control of the traffic signal concerned.
(12) A slip lane for traffic turning left at an intersection which is traffic signal controlled, shall be separated from the lane to the right of such slip lane by a constructed island.
[ There is no provision in the law that specifically states the clearing time but the Regulations do refer to the South African Road Traffic Signs Manual Volume 3 that deals with all issues relating to road traffic signals.
The manual contains time settings for the various types of installations and that is used by traffic departments to set their traffic signals. Regulation 287A of the Road Traffic Regulations deals with the installation requirements.]
Alta Swanepoel & Associates CC