Irresponsible motorists could cause a drastic approach – the full closure of the Franschhoek Pass – during the repair period if they continue to ignore road closure signs.
Department of Infrastructure spokesperson Jandre Bakker said the department is considering a more drastic approach with regard to road closures on the Franschhoek Pass.
“In the latest photos taken at the site, it is clear that road users are ignoring road closure signage and flagmen. It is reported that flagmen are simply disregarded and have to let vehicles pass for the flagmen’s own safety as vehicles simply drive through. In one photo a luxury sedan is seen as it squeezes past the crane. It is alleged that the light motor vehicle sustained damage during a manoeuvre to forcefully access the area.
“This behaviour brings work to a standstill which has a time and subsequent budget implication. It also has a negative impact on when the crane can be moved to allow afternoon and weekend traffic which delays the daily reopening,” said Bakker.
Acting head of department, Chantal Smith, said: “More drastic approaches include a hard and full closure of the pass while the repairs are effected. This is because the safety of our site teams is of utmost importance. They are already working in a high-risk setting and we cannot allow irresponsible road user behaviour to put their safety at risk.
“Such a full closure will have a significant impact on the area but the safety of road users and site staff has to be considered first. We plead with road users to respect the closure times,” said Smith.
MEC for Infrastructure Tertuis Simmers issued a stern warning to road users.
“I strongly condemn this irresponsible and selfish behaviour because not only are these road users entering a restricted area, they are also putting the safety of road workers at risk. While a full closure remains an absolute last resort, I will not hesitate to instruct the team to effect such a closure if this behaviour continues. There are also other works being done in areas with poor line of sight where motorists could collide with people and equipment”.
Closure times at the pass are Mondays to Fridays 8am to 4.59pm.
The pass is open over weekends and weekdays from 5pm till 7.59am the next morning with “proceed when safe” arrangements.