Dept spurns offer to help nab speedsters along N3 death trap

2010-12-13 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal transport department has spurned offers to help nab speedsters at the construction site of new Chota Motala/N3 interchange.

Department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane accused Licence Plate Recognition cc (LPR) of using underhanded tactics to introduce its offer to deal with the potential road carnage at the site, saying it should not have been done through the media.

There is concern that motorists on the stretch of the N3 affected by the roadworks are ignoring signs that warn them to reduce speed when approaching the construction area.

Motorists have told The Witness of the terrifying driving conditions on that stretch of the N3 as cars and trucks continue to speed and drive recklessly, despite the hazardous road constrictions and barriers.

In a recent study using speed-testing equipment, LPR managing director Barry Fryer-Dudley found the area to be a potential death trap and offered to install high-tech electronic equipment to catch traffic offenders.

The study was reported in The Witness on November 24.

Ncalane told The Witness last week that Fryer-Dudley had made his offer by using the media instead of directly approaching the department of Transport.

“We reject people who communicate through the media. Our offices are open,” said Ncalane.

He said that “as a patriotic South African citizen”, Fryer-Dudley should have approached the government to demonstrate his equipment.

Fryer-Dudley recently told The Witness he had previously written to the Road Traffic Inspectorate requesting an opportunity to demonstrate his equipment, but had received no response.

Ncalane insisted there will soon be enough traffic officers at the construction site to deal with the increase in traffic during the festive season.

“Where there is construction we cannot put up cameras because they will not operate properly. We are warning motorists through road signs. We are also considering placing traffic officers there, and we will do that in consultation with the municipality.

“We will deploy them [traffic officers] very soon, especially during peak hours. It is a matter we are looking at,” said Ncalane.

Meanwhile, police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said a 17-year-old woman was struck by a truck near the construction site last week. She was walking from the city centre toward the N3 bridge when the truck swerved into her while trying to avoid another truck on Chota Motala Road.

Two people have died in the stretch along the construction site since roadworks began.

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