Avoid N3 toll route due to snow and sleet, KZN EMS urges motorists

2016-07-24 13:24
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Pietermaritzburg - Motorists have been advised to avoid the N3 toll route as light snow flurries and sleet were starting to fall in high-lying areas, KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesperson, Robert McKenzie, has warned.

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"Heavy snowfalls are expected later on Sunday through to Tuesday. The current cold front has now extended to parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Free State," he said in a statement.

McKenzie said Mooi River, Ladysmith, the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Van Reenen’s Pass, Harrismith, Bethlehem and other surrounding areas could be affected.

With the increased possibility of snow, there was a high likelihood that local residents and travellers could be snowed-in as roads might have to be closed for safety reasons, he said.

Motorists were advised to avoid travelling in such hazardous conditions, McKenzie added.

Road closures

Road Traffic Inspectorate [RTI] station commander, Dave Steele, said heavy traffic delays and road closures could occur.

"Driving conditions may become dangerous as snow and black ice cause roads to become treacherous. In the event of this happening, roads could be closed in the interests of safety of road users and emergency and rescue teams,” Steele said.

He said all emergency services had been placed on high alert.

"Furthermore, N3 Toll Concession's [N3TC] dedicated route services’ teams are on standby and ready to provide support where and when required," he said.

N3TC commercial manager, Con Roux, said heavy snow storms often caused power failures and communication systems could be under pressure.

”You may not be able to use mobile and telecommunication networks. Should you have no other option but to travel, it is essential stay cognisant of weather warnings and the possibility of associated road closures. Conditions may change quickly, thus it is recommended to be well prepared,” Roux said.

Pack for emergencies

Motorists were urged to pack extra blankets, food and refreshments in the event they were caught in lengthy road closures.

Roux said people with medical conditions should ensure they travel with sufficient medical supplies and medication.

"Also make additional provision for lengthy delays if you are traveling with babies and or elderly people. Don’t take any risks, be ready for any eventuality and heed warnings,” Roux stressed.

Weather, traffic conditions and road closures would be communicated via the media and N3TC’s Twitter feed (@N3Route).

Road users are urged to confirm the status of travel conditions with N3TC’s 24-hour Customer Careline on 0800 63 4357.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  weather

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