Fed up with trucks

2013-09-21 00:00

UPPER Highway residents have taken the fight to ban trucks off the M13 (Field’s Hill) to another level, by posting banners on every bridge along the motorway.

While some might welcome the bold “Ban Trucks” signage, the eThekwini municipality deems this practise illegal and offenders could be fined.

Some residents said although they do not know who put up the banners, they support the call.

“This is a wake-up call to the Department of Transport [DOT] that something needs to be done. We are not sitting back and waiting for another tragedy to happen. We want action and we want it now,” said a resident who travels down Field’s Hill daily.

“One life lost on the highway is one too many, but our community has lost 23. The municipality should not threaten the community [those who put up the signs] with fines. Instead, they should act on the truckers.”

An annoyed resident, Michelle Naidu, who is also pleased with the banners, said: “Why can’t the municipality act on those who are causing havoc on Field’s Hill [the truckers]. Instead, they want to pick fights with a community that is in mourning?”

In addition to residents’ comments, Kloof CPF project co-ordinator Nikki Mohlmaan said these signs were a pleasant surprise while she was driving to Hillcrest.

“This is such a great way for a silent protest. We need to get our politicians to sit up and take notice, not just give us empty promises that something will be done,” she said.

“The community is tired of their money-before-lives attitude. They need to stop talking and start acting.”

However, Marge Mitchell of the Keep Hillcrest Beautiful Association (KHBA) said although the association sympathises with those who have lost loved ones and want the DOT to do something, the banners are illegal and have to be removed.

“These banners are not only illegal, but are endangering lives of other motorists on the road. Any banner or waving signage on a road distracts the motorist and could cause an accident,” she said.

She said the KHBA has a contract with the municipality to remove all illegal banners from the Upper Highway area.

“People need to realise that these banners are not going to assist in getting trucks off the M13, all decisions are taken by DOT. We all realise that something needs to be done, but we should not be breaking the law to be heard,” she said.

eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Thabo Mofokeng said that illegal signs were not permitted on any road in the municipality and the fines range from R900 upwards for each sign.

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