THE last of the out-of-town holidaymakers made their trek back upcountry this weekend, as public schools nationwide open for the new academic year on Wednesday. On the N3 at Mooi River on Friday, northbound traffic exceeded southbound traffic, with 1 140 vehicles headed north through the toll plaza between 10 am and 11 am, compared to 783 vehicles headed south. By yesterday, this difference in traffic flow had reversed, with northbound traffic through the Mooi River toll plaza counted at 632 vehicles between noon and 1 pm, and 1 200 vehicles heading south. “Today’s traffic count is within normal patterns,” Nathi Sukazi, spokesperson for the KZN Department of Transport told The Witness. He still advised caution, however. “We continue to urge motorists and other road users to strictly adhere to road traffic rules as they travel to various destinations in and out of the province, ahead of the opening of schools next Wednesday.” Preliminary festive season road death statistics were announced last week, and again KwaZulu-Natal was named as the province with the most road deaths (284) followed by Gauteng (268). There were a total of 1 376 fatalities on the county’s roads since December 1, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters announced. However, this figure was expected to rise with the increase in traffic volumes this weekend.