Speed humps, speed limit for ’deadly’ KZN road
DURBAN - The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport says work has to be done to improve provincial roads in the province, particularly in rural areas.
This follows a horrific head-on crash that claimed 10 lives on the R34, near Vryheid, a day after the Easter long Weekend. The accident happened on the R34, at the intersection with P523.
Shortly after the crash, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni said engineers were going to be dispatched to asses the road, as there appeared to be problems with it.
Speaking during the mass funeral of the five people who died during the crash on Wednesday, Nkonyeni said after inspecting the route, the Traffic Engineering Unit had recommended that traffic calming measures, in the form of speed bumps, be installed along the P523 towards the intersection with the R34.
She said this would ensure that vehicles slow down and observe traffic conditions before entering the intersection.
“The speed limit signage has also been reduced from 80km per hour to 60 km per hour, to prevent drivers from recklessly speeding on that road.
“In addition, we must look at reinstalling traffic lights on both P47 and P523, as these traffic lights were previously removed by certain community members. We believe that these short-term and long-term measures will assist in prompting drivers to be more vigilant and drive carefully, to prevent accidents in the future,” she said.
Nkonyeni said the behaviour of some motorists on the province’s roads needed drastic change.
She said multi-disciplinary law enforcement operations – focusing on drinking and driving, speeding, and unroadworthy vehicles, among other violations – were conducted all over the province during the Easter period as part of Operation Vala, but the province still recorded a high number of fatalities.
”The increasing road fatalities are a huge concern to the provincial government, a total of 54 lives were lost in road crashes during the four-day Easter long weekend alone and the province recorded the highest number of road fatalities in the country during this period.
“The department has made numerous interventions, including law enforcement operations, rolling-out road safety education campaigns, building roads, and installing signage, to end the ongoing road carnage within the province. However, individuals need to play their role in curbing the high rate of road accidents and fatalities that occur daily on our roads,” said Nkonyeni.
MEC Nkonyeni also said that the department has adopted more aggressive approaches to deal with lawlessness and corruption within the department’s Driver Licence Testing Centres (DLTC’s).
She said the department has taken action against officials who were enabling corrupt activities in the DLTCs, by issuing the public with fraudulent driver or learners’ licenses.