Lack of road markings blamed for accident

2019-08-02 15:00
Howick councillor Janis Holmes stands at the corner of Buchanan and Fraser streets, where road markings have faded away.

Howick councillor Janis Holmes stands at the corner of Buchanan and Fraser streets, where road markings have faded away. (KERUSHUN PILLAY)

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Road markings across the Greendale suburb in Howick have completely faded, with many road signs having gone missing, and this has been blamed for a recent accident in which two vehicles were written off.

And now disgruntled residents have applied to the uMngeni Municipality to take repairs into their own hands.

The road markings at the intersections of Buchanan Street and Fraser Street, Andrew Street and Fraser Street, and Buchanan Street and Miller Street are particularly bad, with no stop signs at all.

The streets also have serious potholes.

Ryan King, the director of St Michael’s Ambulance Service, said he was injured, including concussion and severe whiplash, in an accident recently.

King, who was driving a vehicle used for his ambulance business, had collided with a van.

“I was going down Fraser Street and that street has no stops, so it was my right of way. But the other driver probably didn’t realise that because there are no markings on the road.

“There are no warning systems at all. Neither of us was driving fast, but there was serious damage to both cars.

“It was something that could have been avoided but there is nothing on the road that indicates you need to slow down or stop,” King said.

Howick councillor Janis Holmes said she has been trying to lobby uMngeni to paint the road and install road signage for some time, to no avail.

“I told them they’d be responsible for incidents if they don’t act on this. We’re a month into the new financial year … and paint isn’t expensive. Repairing these roads was part of my submission for the budget.”

She said stop signs were stolen or knocked over, and were never replaced. “People are fed up, and residents want to paint the road. So I asked the municipality for indemnity letters so residents can do that, but I got no response.”

Holmes said the situation was a public safety hazard. “Locals know about the situation, but people from out of town won’t know. Today it’s a car accident, next could be a child on a bicycle.”

She claimed that at least one street sign was missing across most of the suburbs in Howick.

uMngeni spokesperson Thando Mgaga said the municipality compiled a list of roads that require signage, and a process to erect signage will begin before the end of the month.

“We are currently awaiting the supply of the relevant material and we will proceed thereafter,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery

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