Durban - As schools close for the December holidays and the long weekend awaits, the authorities said they were expecting traffic along major routes especially to holiday destinations.
The N3 Toll Concession said it was expecting a huge increase in traffic in the run-up to the first long weekend of the December holidays.
At the launch of the festive season road safety campaign last week, Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula said the festive season was a period when there was increased traffic on the roads which demanded authorities to be on high alert.
“This is a period when migrant workers make their way home away from the cities where they earn a living, crossing provincial and national boundaries, resulting in congested roads. This places tremendous pressure on our roads and requires in heightened law-enforcement to ensure that every road user reaches their destination alive. This congestion across our national road network requires the road users to exercise extreme caution and vigilance,” said Mbalula.
He added that the RTMC had packaged a comprehensive plan towards tackling indiscipline that leads to fatalities on the roads.
“As we implement our festive season law-enforcement interventions, we will tighten the noose around the necks of those who continue to perpetuate unlawful conduct,” he stressed.
Areas of focus for authorities will include:
* Vehicle roadworthiness.
* Drunk-driving and speeding.
* Pedestrian safety and public passenger transport.
The minister indicated that interventions that were initiated on the N2 Pongola and N3 Pietermaritzburg to address truck crashes would be intensified.
Thania Dhoogra, operations manager of the N3 Toll Concession said they were expecting traffic volumes to increase from December 15 and 16 as the holiday season got into full swing.
“The current reality is that the sheer volume of traffic and a mix of vehicle types sharing the same road increases road safety risks and impacts the number of crashes on the N3 Toll Route,” she said.
She appealed to road users to plan their trips ahead of their departures, and stay informed of road and traffic conditions while travelling on the N3 Toll Route.
“They need to heed warnings and pay attention to traffic signs. We appeal to all road users to make it their priority to reduce road safety risks. In this endeavour, we all have to play our part, from government and law-enforcement officers to drivers and their passengers, and all logistics and freight operators. It is only through effective law-enforcement, safety and security partnerships, preventive measures and swift multi-disciplinary action, when required, that safety and mobility on the N3 Toll Route can be ensured,” Dhoogra stressed
Eleanor Mavimbela, AA spokesperson appealed to people to play their role regarding road safety, warning that this was not the responsibility of the authorities alone.
“Traffic law-enforcers work exceedingly hard over this period to make our roads safer, but these efforts are thwarted by road users who drive recklessly, who do not obey the rules of the road, and who believe they are above the law,” said the AA spokesperson.
She added that the festive season was a time for family and friends to come together and reconnect, and people to relax and enjoy well-earned downtime.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said they were ready and had finalised plans to deal with traffic offenders this festive season.