Roads agency to act on illegal U-turns

2016-06-16 06:00
A firefighter puts out the fire after three people burnt to death on the R61 last year. Photo: file

A firefighter puts out the fire after three people burnt to death on the R61 last year. Photo: file

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THE South African National Roads Agency (Sanral) says it is aware of the accidents occurring on the R61 near the Izotsha Toll Plaza in Shelly Beach and measures are being implemented, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, to remedy the situation.

The accidents have been mostly as a result of motorists making illegal U-turns on the road to avoid paying the R7.50 toll fee.

Last week the Democratic Alliance expressed dismay at what it called the “continuing inaction by Sanral and the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) to prevent illegal U-turns on the road”.

Dr Rishigen Viranna, DA constituency head for Ugu South, said he has raised this problem in the National Assembly as well as in the provincial Legislature.

“We have received email correspondence from Sanral that while there are plans for R61 upgrades, construction will only start in 20 to 24 months due to budgetary constraints,” said Viranna.

He added that internal problems within the Port Shepstone RTI are affecting the patrolling and enforcement of traffic laws at the off-ramp, despite assurances from the head of department of the Department of Transport to activate local RTI efforts.

“This has failed to occur. It is obvious the RTI does not have the situation under control,” said Viranna.

Sanral eastern region manager Logashri Sewnarain, said the resurfacing contract on the R61 is currently under design and a contractor is scheduled to be appointed in November.

“As part of the contract, we will allow for the re-configuration of the current lanes and the erection of a barrier at the expense of the climbing lane.

“It must be noted that this measure is still to be considered as a temporary measure to prevent unacceptable driver behaviour until the full upgrade can be implemented in approximately two years,” said Sewnarain.

Of the accidents that have taken place at the toll, the most horrific was of three people who were burnt beyond recognition after their cars collided in July last year.

Sewnarain appeals to motorists to abide by the law and refrain from making illegal U-turns.

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