Curbing reckless drivers
Officers needed on the road 24 hours a day, every day
SOUTH Africa is a signatory to the “Decade of Action for Road Safety” plan, and so too is the N3 Toll Concession ( N3TC).
This company maintains and operates one of the country’s major transport links, the N3 Toll Route, between the Heidelberg interchange in Gauteng and the Cedara interchange near Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu- Natal.
Since the implementation of this framework in 2011, N3TC has instituted various roadsafety interventions and activities to improve general safety along the N3 Toll Route, and despite making excellent progress during the previous five years, and achieving an overall 43% ( from 196 in 2011 to 112 in 2015) reduction in fatalities along the route, some serious concerns remain.
“These can only be effectively addressed through the commitment of all stakeholders, most notably that of drivers themselves and law- enforcement agencies,” said Miles le Roux, transport engineer at N3 Toll Concession.
“The general attitude of South African drivers remains poor. About 70% of crashes on the N3 are due to human behaviour and errors of judgment. Generally, it seems drivers show little respect for other road users and the law. They seem to be proud of breaking the law and getting away with it,” said Le Roux.
“Drivers need to be made aware of how dangerous driving actually is. They are often not skilled enough for the speeds and conditions they encounter on the road. The cooperation of all road users and an overall behavioural change is essential to overcome our roadsafety challenges.”
The three most common types of crashes for 2015 on the N3 Toll Route were vehicles that rolled ( 27,5%), vehicles that left the road ( 21,9%), and head- tail collisions ( 19,0%). Crashes where vehicles rolled or left the road are single- vehicle crashes where the driver lost control. “In all these situations, the driver lost control usually due to poor concentration, judgment and excessively dangerous speeds,” said Le Roux.
Pedestrian crashes account for 4,3% of all crashes and are almost always fatal.
“These generally occur in areas where there are dwellings close to the N3 Toll Route and where hitch- hiking takes place. The issue is further exacerbated by hawkers who sell their wares to truck drivers at many unsafe and illegal locations along the route,” said Le Roux.
As road safety is a primary concern for the N3TC, the company works in close co- operation with the various lawenforcement agencies along the route.
Various interventions, such as speed over distance monitoring, road blocks, alcohol and drug- screening tests, specialised training for law- enforcement agencies and more, are bearing fruit.
However, despite the fact that our country has excellent traffic enforcement laws, more needs to be done to apply the law to its fullest and enforce rules and regulations governing traffic violations and the roadworthiness of vehicles.
“It would make a tangible difference on our roads if law enforcement officers were working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and sufficient commitment and manpower were available to successfully prosecute offenders,” said Le Roux.
N3 Toll Concession deploys significant resources to enhance overall safety along the N3 Toll Route.
“We are thankful for the support received from our various partners in this regard,” said Le Roux. — Supplied.