Traffic on the N3 this year due to the lockdown was not like it was last year when more than 2000 light motor vehicles were passing through the Mooi River Toll Plaza every hour. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
Traffic on the N3 this year due to the lockdown was not like it was last year when more than 2000 light motor vehicles were passing through the Mooi River Toll Plaza every hour. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

This is how the lockdown affected Easter traffic on the N3 this year

By Anelisa Kubheka Time of article published Apr 14, 2020

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Durban - This time last year more than 2 000 light motor vehicles were passing through the Mooi River Toll Plaza every hour, while 77 motorists were arrested for drunk driving.

However, as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown there was little traffic on KwaZulu-Natal’s national roads and only one motorist was arrested for drunk driving over the Easter weekend, while two were charged for speeding.

Transport MEC Bheki Ntuli said a further 37 people were arrested over the weekend for not complying with lockdown regulations.

“A large number of law enforcement officers have been deployed on our provincial roads, predominantly covering the N2 and N3, as well as major entry and exit points into residential areas to ensure compliance with lockdown regulations. Road Traffic Inspectorate officers were not only focusing on drunk drivers, but were also concentrating on checking the roadworthiness of vehicles, overloading, as well as motorists using mobile phones while driving. Those who insist on breaking the law by contravening the lockdown regulations will face dire consequences,” he said.

Ntuli said 10 942 vehicles were stopped and checked from April 9 as part of the Easter period enforcement plan aimed at promoting safety on provincial roads and ensuring adherence to the lockdown regulations.

Officers issued 167 fines for various offences and two motorists were charged for clocking up high speeds over the weekend, a drastic decrease compared to the same period in 2019, when 760 motorists were charged for speeding. A further 31 motorists were charged for driving without a licence.

“Although we are seeing a decrease in the number of accidents and fatalities on our roads, where one person died during this year’s Easter weekend compared to 37 fatalities reported during the same period in 2019, far too many people are still dying on our roads, because one death is one too many. Law enforcement agencies are implementing a zero-tolerance policy against drinking and driving, speeding and driving without permits during this Easter period, which also falls within the national lockdown,” Ntuli said.

N3 Toll Concession spokesperson Con Roux said traffic was running at 10% of normal volumes for light vehicles and 40% for heavy vehicles.

SA Road Freight Employers Association chief executive Gavin Kelly said they still faced challenges after the relaxation of some regulations.

“One of the biggest challenges is that police officers and the SANDF at various roadblocks will interpret the regulations and the rules as they see fit, with very little consensus,” he said.

Daily News

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