Busy traffic weekend ahead

2011-12-23 08:01

Traffic volumes on all major routes will increase again from today as the Christmas weekend kicks off.

This weekend will be the third of the festive season’s busiest traffic periods, said Ashref Ismail, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

Busy routes include the:
» N3 South from Johannesburg to Durban
» N1 North from Pretoria to Polokwane
» N4 East from Pretoria to the Mozambican border
» N1 South from Johannesburg to Cape Town
» N2 East from Cape Town via the Garden Route

According to the South African National Roads Agency, toll gates on these routes are also expected to experience congested traffic flow today.

Some of the busiest toll gates are the Huguenot Plaza on the N1 between Cape Town and Bloemfontein, Middelburg Plaza between Pretoria and Nelspruit and Ashburton between Pietermaritzburg and Durban with more than a thousand vehicles expected to go through these toll gates.

There have been more than 600 fatal crashes on the country’s roads since the beginning of December.

These have resulted in the deaths of more than 720 people.

In the latest accident, a man died last night and six people were injured in a head-on collision on the N1 near Bloemfontein in the Free State. The injured were rushed to hospital were they are receiving treatment.

According to Sello Tshipi, spokesperson for the Ministry of Transport, more than 1 400 motorists have been arrested across the country for various traffic offences since the start of the festive season.

“Between the beginning of December and the 18th, 501 people were arrested for drunk driving, 93 for excessive speed, 37 for reckless and/or negligent driving, 104 for overloading, 420 for not being in possession of valid public transport permits, 16 for not being in possession of a valid driving licence, 22 for false documents and 241 for other offences.”

Almost 4 000 un-roadworthy vehicles, of which the majority are buses and taxis, were discontinued from use.

Tshipi said road users, especially those using public transport, “must speak out against bad driving”.

“Commuters in buses and taxis must not allow themselves to be carried around like a bag of potatoes,” he said.

Fatigue was another cause of accidents. Ismail urged drivers to take breaks when travelling long distances.

“Take regular breaks at least once every two hours or every two hundred kilometres,” he said.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation’s next official report on the death toll and accidents will be released on Tuesday.

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