Cut speed limit at Suicide bend — hibberdene residents

2012-05-08 00:00

RESIDENTS in Hibberdene have called for speed limits to be reduced to 60 km/h on the R102 between Hibberdene and Southport.

Noreen Herholdt of Pumula said she had witnessed many near accidents on the main South Coast road from Hibberdene to Southport.

“Drivers do not drop their speed and take into consideration that they are in a residential area once they get off the freeway [at Hibberdene],” said Herholdt.

Hibberdene resident Darrell Hattingh also complained about the speed on the road.

The road has speed limits from 40 km/h to 100 km/h at various stretches.

“This whole stretch should be demarcated a 60 km/h zone,” he said.

“The speeds definitely should be decreased, especially at the Woodgrange turn off in Hibberdene.”

Hattingh said traffic police in the area should be more effective.

“The traffic police are at this intersection virtually every second day pulling off cars and checking for licences, flaws, etcetera.”

“But vehicles and trucks continually shunt down this stretch in excess of 100km/h into and out of Hibberdene. There is no trapping or visible policing in this regard.”

Last Wednesday a truck driver escaped serious injury after his truck overturned near the infamous “suicide bend” on a dangerous section of the road. He lost his entire load of timber and crashed into the barricade.

The bend is a notorious hotspot for accidents.

On the same day a woman who was on her way to work lost control of her vehicle. Her car overturned near Hibberdene and she was hospitalised.

A minibus taxi also overturned near the Mhlungwa bridge in Hibberdene that night. Thirteen people were injured. The driver fled the scene. Police are investigating a case of reckless and negligent driving.

In November last year Hibberdene detectives were investigating four separate cases of reckless and negligent driving that occurred in the area.

The accidents took place over four consecutive days.

Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said: “The road is definitely a hotspot for accidents. Police officers were kept busy last week by attending to accident scenes.”

Wiid said two police officers who had received expert training researched accidents scenes from Hibberdene to Port Shepstone and surrounding areas.

“Detective Warrant officer Avin Mahadawu and Warrant Officer Gerhard Prinsloo conducted the research. The majority of accidents can be attributed to drunk driving, a disregard for road laws, and pedestrians who cross the road in front of oncoming traffic,” she said.

“Road users need to be more alert and to obey the rules of the road, stick to the speed limits and keep a safe following distance,” she added.

KwaZulu Natal Transport Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said the department would investigate the spate of accidents and take action to instil discipline to avoid hazardous situations.

He said that after assessing the accidents the department would look into measures that would safeguard road users.

“Reducing the speed limit does not mean that drivers will comply with the rules. We will work with the Road Traffic Inspectorate and may have to deploy traffic police at these spots to monitor the traffic,” he added.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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