Road speed limits raised

2012-12-14 00:00

THE changing of speed limits on sections of roads in the Richards Bay, Empangeni and Melmoth/Ulundi areas has been met with joy in some quarters and concern in others.

The Department of Transport earlier this month ordered that speed limits be raised on “Main Road 47-3” between Melmoth and Ulundi and Main Road 393, from Empangeni.

On the Ulundi road, the speed limit has been raised to 100 km/h from 80 km/h in one section. And in another section, where there had been a 60km/h zone, it has been raised to 80 km/h.

Some motorists who travel often to Ulundi said they were happy with the increased speed limit. One said the journey was “monotonous” at the lower speed limit.

Motorists who have been vocal about the “ridiculous” 60km/h speed limit on the John Ross highway have welcomed the raised speed limit in certain sections to 80 km/h.

However, the manager of Mthonjaneni Protection Services, Derek Horne, voiced his concern about the Ulundi road.

Some of the speed limits had been in effect for 37 years, and the changes were going to cause confusion and accidents, he said.

“Motorists get 10 km/h grace [that is, fines are not issued if up to nine kilometres over the speed limit], so the speed limit on one section of the road has in fact been raised to 110 km/h. That speed applies to 60- or 80-ton trucks too, and trucks that size cannot safely do that speed on these roads,” he said.

The Department of Transport was contacted over several days by telephone and e-mail, but no reply had been given at the time of going to press.

Drivers have also noticed that signs have also been changed on John Ross highway (between Richards Bay and Empangeni), where 60 km/h speed limit signs have been removed and replaced with 80 km/h signs.

The Witness was told that John Ross is still under the jurisdiction of the contractor, Africon Construction, and that they were responsible for safety and for determining speed limits.

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