‘Nothing wrong’ with Town Hill arrestor bed

2008-05-13 00:00

Public concerns about the condition of the arrestor bed on the N3 highway at Town Hill where a truck driver was burnt to death after his truck crashed on Monday have been dismissed by the SA National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) and KZN Transport Department, which are both investigating.

Traffic signs and accident prevention measures are in place. Preliminary results indicate that the main cause for the accident may have been the failure of the truck’s brakes.

According to Sanral regional manager, Gunyaziwe Makaula, the arrestor bed is in good condition. "Visual inspection informs us that the arrestor bed is in good condition, but we [will] do engineering investigations to determine the condition of the arrestor bed."

He said the agency regularly checks arrestor beds. A vehicle that drove straight into the arrestor bed in the bed’s current condition would be halted.

The truck driver, who was from Johannesburg, has not yet been named by police.

"It appears that the driver tried to stop on the truck stop lane, but another truck was parked there. [He] swerved to avoid the parked vehicle and eventually drove across the arrestor bed," said Makaula.

Transport spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said the department is investigating why the brakes failed.

She said that it seems the truck did not drive through the arrestor bed.

"One set of the truck’s wheels were on the arrestor bed, while the other set were on the tarmac."

Mngomezulu urged truck drivers to adhere to traffic signs.

"There is a compulsory stop sign for heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 16 000 kg and they have to engage lower gear."

Witness readers suggested that another arrestor bed be built. In his response, Makaula said an additional arrestor bed was removed after "engineering design evidence proved that it did not serve the purpose".

Other readers said more policing is needed on Townhill.

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