Speeding, drag racing - major concern

2015-10-28 06:00
PHOTO: nqobile mtolo  Bangalore Road.

PHOTO: nqobile mtolo Bangalore Road.

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THE Northdale community is at their wit’s end with speeding vehicles and illegal drag racing which endangers the lives of residents and causes extensive damage to property there.

While most residents are calling for the erection of traffic calming measures as a solution to the problem, others believe that the presence of traffic officers will force drivers to obey traffic rules.

About three weeks ago Soni Road resident Anil Mathadeen’s property and cars were damaged due to a speeding vehicle whose driver lost control after it turned into the road.

Two of his cars have been written off and when Maritzburg Feverreporter visited him last week he was repairing his damaged gate.

Mathadeen believes that traffic-calming measures will stop motorists from speeding in this area.

“If the cars were not in my driveway, the speeding car would have damaged the house and that would have been another­ story. Besides damage to my property, every day children travel to and from school here. The drivers have no respect for the rules of the road and the municipality should erect traffic-calming measures before there is loss of life,” he said.

He said the yield sign on the corner of Soni and Sanjeevi roads does not help slow down speeding cars. However, he said that speed humps will not be sufficient. “Traffic officers need to be present at all times. That is all we are asking for.”

Ron Devcharran of Balhambra Way said that he is sick and tired of screeching cars in the early morning.

“As soon as motorists get over the speed hump they speed down the road. We cannot rest at night because the noise is just terrible. It is worse on weekends. Those who speed in the area­ like to say that Balhambra Way is dead quiet­ and they need to inject life into it by screeching tyres and drag racing. We can only take so much,” said Devcharran. He said that speedsters take their high to the next level whenever there are community functions at the ATP Hall. “Whenever there are public functions at the hall, the cars park on both sides of the road. The speedsters don’t care about that. They speed and endanger the lives of people. We need rumble strips erected to solve this problem,” he said.

Naresh Haripal and Ayoob Singh, who live in Bangalore Road, said that most of the vehicles that speed down Bangalore Road have a hard time stopping at the traffic lights at the intersection of Bombay and Bangalore roads.

“If you shout at them for speeding, the drivers get violent and swear at you,” said Haripal.

Ward 30 councillor Jay Singh said there is no traffic regulation for vehicles that fetch school children. He said this is worse along Khan Road and by Allandale Primary School. He said drag racing usually occurs at the top part of Chota Motala­ Road.

Ward 31 councillor Rooksana Ahmed said she receives more than 20 complaints a week from the community about speeding vehicles and drag racing. “Speeding motorists put lives of pedestrians, school children and elderly at risk. The question is, whose responsibility is this? Maybe we need more education and awareness about the dangers of speeding. We need people to take down registration numbers of speeding vehicles.

“Many speedsters and drag racers are known in the community. They need to be reported,” said Rooksana.

Ward 28 councillor Nithia Soobramoney Govender said that speeding and drag racing is a culture of new drivers today.

“It’s a culture shift. We don’t have visible policing, which turns to lawlessness. There is disregard for loss of life. Speeding is everywhere,” he said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said that the demand for traffic officers exceeds capacity. “We currently have 28 registered traffic officers. Enforcement plans are in place, it must be noted that the demand exceeds our capacity and we still in the process of implementing a 24-hour service, which is dependent on staff complement,” said Madonda.

She said that community members who need traffic calming measures should contact the municipality. “Requests for rubble strips and speed humps have to be forwarded to the transportation planning section,” she said.

People must take down registration
numbers of speeding vehicles

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