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Cape Town - Safety and Security and city traffic services joined forces on Thursday morning to educate pedestrians about the dangers of illegally crossing the N2.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, handed out flyers and engaged with pedestrians.
On Thursday morning’s session targeted the section between the R300 and Borcherds Quarry, where informal settlements in Nyanga abut the N2. Gaps in the fencing allow pedestrians access to the highway.
Two pedestrians have been killed on that stretch of road in recent weeks, with the most recent fatality occurring on Sunday.
Richard Coleman, spokesman for traffic services, confirmed that 23 pedestrians had died on the stretch of the N2 which falls within Cape Town’s limits - from Somerset West to the CBD - since January. Twelve people had been killed in cars.
“This is twice the number of drivers and passengers who have died in crashes.
“It is important that we continually educate people about the dangers of walking within the freeway’s confines. But motorists also need to be sensitised to this issue.
“Something we have been trying to get across is the danger of drivers stopping on the side of the road to pick up or drop off passengers.”
In July, the provincial government set aside R5 million to upgrade the fence which separates informal settlements from the N2 on the stretch of road targeted by the campaign on Thursday morning.
“This has been a problem for at least 25 years,” said Western Cape transport MEC Robin Carlisle.
“We are testing various means to discourage incursions on the N2. This is for the safety of pedestrians and motorists, and to maintain the rule of law. There have also been instances where the N2 becomes blocked by people illegally.
“We are testing special types of wire needed for durable fencing, looking at designs and ways to encourage people to make more use of pedestrian bridges and installing extra lighting on those vulnerable stretches of road.”
Next month is Transport Month, and Smith said the pedestrian awareness campaign would continue and take on special significance.