File picture: Zandile Nsuntsha / Independent Media.
Durban - Nearly 75% of all crashes on the N3 Toll Route are caused by human error. And this is why, says the N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) before the Day of Reconciliation influx of visitors, it is going the “extra mile” to ­enhance overall route safety this December holiday.

On Thursday on the N3 near Peacevale, a truck crash led to the vehicle blocking the N3 up to the M13/N3 split at Shongweni for several hours.

Earlier this month, two crashes - in Hillcrest and Pieter­maritzburg - left 20 people injured.

Both incidents involved taxis and light motor vehicles.

Last month three people were injured after a taxi rear-ended another on the N3 north-bound near the Ashburton turn-off in Pietermaritzburg. The previous month four people were killed in a horror crash on the N3 near Mooi River.

The N3TC said it had instituted various road safety interventions and deployed extensive resources to enhance safety along the route, which extended from Heidelberg in Gauteng to Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal.

“We continuously improve road signage and markings, do speed-over-distance monitoring, and enhance our road incident management capacity through training and the deployment of highly specialised personnel and emergency response vehicles,” said Miles le Roux, N3TC’s transport engineer.

He said their Route Control Centre daily managed the N3 Incident Database, which enabled them to identify hot spots along the route and gave a better understanding of the type of incidents that occurred, and how to manage and mitigate them.

Driver attitude and risk-taking were worrying, he said.

“Human error (deliberate or unintentional) remains the top cause of crashes and fatalities on the N3 Toll Route.

“Nearly 75% are due to human error,” said Le Roux.

Factors which increased the likelihood of an accident included driving behaviour such as illegal overtaking, tailgating, weaving across lanes, illegal turns, speeding, driver distractions, being aggressive and impatient on the road, violating traffic laws and other safety regulations.

After human error, vehicle failure places lives at risk.

The eThekwini municipality said that to eliminate traffic congestion on the beachfront this festive season, a park-and-ride system had been put in place.

“Private vehicles can park at the Centrum Site and Natal Command Site, while public transport can park at the old drive-in site. The municipality has provided a free shuttle service that will operate at 30-minute intervals.”

Some roads leading to the beachfront will be closed, while others will be boom-gate controlled.

The Mercury