Heightened road safety campaign on N3

ROAD traffic authorities will embark on a heightened road safety campaign on the N3 national freeway this weekend targeting motorists travelling to the east coast.

Trafficis expected to peak along this route from Friday until Monday as travellers will be heading to Durban to attend the annual Durban July Handicap, a popular horse racing event.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said road traffic authorities from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal as well as the RTMC will be stationed at key points along this route to educate motorists about safety.

This will include respect for other motorists, avoiding road rage, fatigue, reducing speed, avoiding alcohol and intoxicating drugs while driving and avoiding the use of cell-phones when driving.

Disabled activists from the Self Help Association for Paraplegics are also expected to join the campaign at some of the identified spots.

“The N3 is one of the dangerous routes in South Africa with the high flow of heavy vehicles and motorists are urged to travel during daylight to avoid crashes. There are numerous hazardous spots along this route,” RTMC Spokesperson Simon Zwane said.

These, he said, include pedestrians crossing the roads near Vosloorus in Gauteng and Howick in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zwane said the portion of the road between Villiers and Harrismith also experienced high crashes.

“The Van Reenen Pass outside Harrismith and Hilton in Pietermaritzburg experience dense mist around this time of the year and motorists are urged to be cautious, especially in the mornings. Veld fires are very common during this time of the year and they affect visibility on the road,” he said.

Statistics analysed by the RTMC indicate that the month of July is one of the periods in which the country experiences a high number of road crash fatalities.

Most crashes occur on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday and they generally happen between 6pm and 6am.
About 88% of crashes are caused by human factors, with an average of 40 people dying and 20 left permanently disabled every day.

The human factors include a driver failing to keep a vehicle under control, fatigue, driving under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicating substances, failure to wear safety belts, driving on the wrong side of the road and driving at excessive speed.

Zwane urged motorists to obey all the road traffic rules and regulations and to also exercise patience at traffic operations and construction sites.