High traffic volumes as vacationers go home

2016-01-04 11:30

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Pietermaritzburg - Thousands of holidaymakers have been leaving the province over the weekend and traffic volumes are expected to remain high today and tomorrow.

RTI spokesperson, Zinhle Mngomezulu, said that traffic flow on the N3 northbound started escalating on Saturday, with over 2 200 cars passing Mariannhill toll plaza per hour yesterday, before midday.

“Yesterday [Saturday] there were about 2 000 cars per hour passing the Mariannhill toll. We would have had over 3 000 cars per hour today [Sunday] but the traffic was spread over the two days, which is much safer for everyone travelling,” she said.

“We have everything under control. Officers are out in numbers to monitor the situation and control a lot of traffic to ensure maximum safety while motorists are on their way to various destinations,” said Mngomezulu.

She said “so far nothing major has been reported” with respect to accidents.

Mngomezulu said that while all boom gates were opened at Mariannhill toll plaza, the queues were still long.

“I am happy that the weather is good and it’s sunny. It would have been a problem if it rained,” she added.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Willies Mchunu, said more than 441 people have been caught this festive season for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Figures released by the department showed that more than 208 000 vehicles were stopped and checked across the province and 275 public transport vehicles were impounded.

“We remain concerned that more than 200 people died on our roads during this period. We are working with other agencies, including the SAPS and RTMC to verify the figures. However, the analyses of the preliminary figures indicates a decrease,” said Mchunu.

Sergeant Mtokozisi Ngobese, spokesperson of the SAPS Pietermaritzburg south cluster said that a total of 124 arrests were made in the cluster over December 31 and January 1. Of these arrests, 31 were traffic related cases, 20 were for drunken driving, 18 were assaults and 55 thefts.

• arts@witness.co.za

The Road Traffic Management Corporation has offered the following tips to drivers:

• Drivers must be patient — do not to overtake on a barrier line, and stick to the speed limit.

• Watch out for pedestrians.

• Don’t answer your cellphone while driving.

• Parents must strap their children in and keep babies and toddlers in their baby seats and booster seats.

• Passengers can keep drivers engaged to prevent them falling asleep.

Pack water, as it will be extremely hot and uncomfortable in some parts of the country for most of the week ahead.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  traffic  |  holiday

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