Traffic peak expected

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Johannesburg - A traffic peak is expected on major routes just before Christmas, as people head to their holiday destinations, the Road Traffic Management Corporation said on Sunday.

No major accidents had been reported by Sunday, and traffic volumes were still normal, but major delays were expected on Monday and Tuesday, said Thato Mosena.

Traffic volumes were expected to increase again next Tuesday, just before New Year, and again on January 5 and 6, when people were expected to return from their holidays.

Mosena said high traffic volumes were experienced when 1000 to 2000 or more vehicles an hour travelled on a route.

She said more than 2000 vehicles an hour were expected during peak holiday times.

The N1 north between Pretoria, Polokwane and the Beit Bridge border post was expected to be busy, as was the N2 to and from Somerset West and Cape Town.

A lot of traffic coming into Durban from Johannesburg was expected on the N3.

High volumes of vehicles travelling on routes between Mangaung and Cape Town and between Pretoria, Nelspruit and Lebombo were also expected.

N3 Toll Concession spokeswoman Andy Visser said on Sunday morning that about 1000 vehicles an hour had been heading out of Gauteng at the tollgates.

About the same number of vehicles was heading out of KwaZulu-Natal, but more, at 1100, were entering the province.

Eastern Cape traffic spokesman Tshepo Machaea said while the roads were quiet on Sunday, 10 people died in accidents across the province on Saturday.

He said the total number of fatalities on the province's roads over December was not yet available.

Limpopo roads and transport spokesman Jimmy Machaka said five people had died in accidents in the province since Friday night.

This brought to 39 the death toll since the start of the month. There had been 178 accidents since then.

He said two of the people who died at the weekend were drivers and two were pedestrians. Details of the fifth death, which occurred after midnight in Polokwane, were still being compiled.

He said a traffic official was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while conducting a roadblock in Groblersdal.

Machaka said that many of the accidents were caused by speeding and overtaking in reckless situations.

He urged pedestrians to wear clothing which made them visible to drivers while walking at night.

In Mpumulanga, three people died on Sunday morning in accidents involving taxis, a Sapa correspondent reported.

Community safety, security and liaison department spokesman Joseph Mabuza said more than 60 people had died on the province's roads since the beginning of December.

He said that driver fatigue was to blame for the two accidents on the N4 highway near Malalane on Sunday morning

In the first, a minibus taxi driver lost control of the vehicle and it collided with a bakkie.

The bakkie driver died and the taxi driver and his nine passengers were injured.

In the second, a taxi driver veered into oncoming traffic near the Nkomazi Toll Plaza. The vehicle collided with two bakkies. Two people died. The injured were taken to hospital. - Sapa

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