Roads get busy as holidaymakers head home
The number of vehicles passing through various toll plazas is expected to continue gaining momentum through the weekend, with many people starting work on Monday.
Holidaymakers are making their way back home from all corners of the country. Those who didn't want to be caught in the peak traffic congestion started their journey yesterday.
The N1 and N4 near the city were busier, but the inner city remained quiet.
Spokesperson for Bakwena (which operates the two national roads near Tshwane) Charmaine van Wyk said the Phumulani plaza on the N1 was expected to be increasingly busy, with possible delays later at Kranskop.
“With businesses reopening and parents wanting to get an early preparation with back to school woes, holidaymakers are trickling back to avoid peak congestion,” she said.
By yesterday, both the N1 and N4 roads measured just under 1500 motorists passing through the toll gates per hour, but it is expected to reach the 2000 mark by the weekend.
“From Saturday afternoon all the way up to Sunday late afternoon, the plazas will be inundated,” she said.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula released preliminary statistics before Christmas and painted a picture of improvement in road safety.
“Since the beginning of the festive season campaign, a total of 629661 vehicles were stopped in 539 roadblocks staged nationwide. This resulted in 231937 traffic fines being issued to motorists for various transgressions.
“However, the number of traffic fines issued is less than those issued over the same period during the previous festive season, by 101 595.
"This is an indication of improving compliance with the rules of the road by many motorists. I must hasten to add that this is no cause to celebrate because every transgression is a potential fatality,” said Mbalula.
The number of arrests have also come down from 3052 previously to 2915, representing a slight improvement in driver behaviour.
Last year, Tshwane Metro Police spokesperson Isaac Mahamba said he was concerned with the number of driving offences, when the department had issued about 142573 fines for traffic and by-law offences.
He said more than 20 000 motorists had been fined during the festive period for driving while using their cell phones.
The national statistics are expected to be released later this month.