PUBLIC REACTS TO MALAGWANE HEADACHE
The Tuesday Malagwane accident left many road users angry that police and public works and transport officers don’t learn from past experiences. Since we are now living in the era of social media platforms road users took to facebook to this week to express their disgust at the treatment they receive every time there is a truck which jhas lost control and block the downhill lanes. One such person whose post o facebook attracted more comments was DJ Mixmash Tru-Soundz who wrote under the heading: Learning from Disasters: Part One - A case study of Malagwane truck accidents: A quick analysis of the recent truck incident that took place on Tuesday at Malagwane shows that certain national targets are still far-fetched due to poor risk management practices. This treatise has been summarised in relation to risk management (prevention of accidents), disaster preparedness and response (reaction during the accident) and isomorphic learning (lessons from previous accidents)
Risk Management - Without delving much to the obvious substandard design of the winding and terraneous Malagwane road, the design clearly did not take risk assessment into consideration; no side idling lane for trucks, uneven surface on sharp corners, inadequate concrete barricade for runaway vehicles, inadequate runaway traffic calming strips and poor grip qualities. Additionally we designed this road without making the appropriate future traffic projections. The traffic using the double carriageway has increased approximately by 800 per cent since the road was constructed. Increased traffic on the road means higher probabilities for traffic related risks. Disaster Preparedness and Response - Clearly no one knows what to do every time there is a major incident at Malagwane.
No clear communication of roles and responsibilities to emergency response team, No clean-up expertise (Sand being used to clean-up oil on a sharp corner and the same sand is a significant slip hazard to traffic).
No readily available major breakdown services, poor traffic management, no alternate routes (despite the continued incidents which by now should have prompted availing proper alternate routes)
For instance on the accident afternoon one senior officer was saying on radio that the public should use the alternate Ezulwini - Gobholo Road to avoid congestion at the incident site, knowing very well that even a heavy duty tractor struggles to traverse on that road.
Worse yet, imagine this disaster worse than what we think is a disaster; whilst the 600 or so cars are slowly moving downhill at snail-pace a tanker carrying 40 000 liters of diesel looses braking ability and crashes at high speed to the downhill traffic. A beginning of a real disaster and chain reaction that could claim hundreds of lives (It is general logic, at least for safety and risk practitioners, that high risk vehicles
should not be allowed to go downhill until a major incident has been cleared.)
Isomorphic Learning - Clearly we do not like learning from previous disasters. That is why we have a repeat of almost similar incidents, with the only variable being that they are getting more disastrous by the day.
After a major incident like the recent one, does the emergency team (if one exists) meet and look at root causes, corrective and preventive action...I doubt!
The surface of the road is badly worn and present risks even on normal driving conditions - how much more in adverse driving conditions?
Does anyone even think about these...who is supposed to think that the volume of traffic is now bigger than the initial road design?
How many more accidents and fatalities do we need to experience to realise the looming disaster?
Conclusion - Repeated incidents that are not corrected in time have a cumulative effect.
When a disaster finally strikes, it is an exponential function of unresolved ‘minor’ disasters.
Failure of hindsight (Failure to learn
from previous events) is a paralysis for any country’s vision to achieve safety targets.
If you cannot correct you cannot improve Friends reacted to the post: Melusi Dlamini Zox: Part Two. Please.
Senzo Simelane: Hhawu Mashwama, spent endless hours of company time as an insurer explaining similar concepts if not the same to company execs. “Ngeke kube NALENYE inhlekelele fana, sitokhuleka eNkhosini“
Senzo Simelane: On another note, this is very well written. Will consult with you in future.
Kîng Sâhr: They need to expand the road and consider all the issues you mentioned. But have you considered in your study what the impact of incorporating the remedial measures you discuss in your study would have on the economy or on the flow of traffic and services to and from Mbabane?
Have you thought of quantifying what the cost to the economy would be on the delays caused in the movement of traffic and goods as a result of redesigning the road?
Is the reason why no design changes have been made on the road to incorporate your proposed remedies, not simply
because we need a brand new highway?
Siboniso Knowlede: Good thoughts Mash however on the point of not allowing high risk vehicles going downhill until the damage has been put under control, it could be catastrophic to economic growth due delays in delivery of raw materials which I suppose 80 per cent of those vehicles transport. Maybe improved traffic management can do including education and tolerance on the part of other road users because they also cause further blockages in the traffic flow by their looting among other things
Sainte Gee: And the upgrade of bypass road... Be used by the heavy duty transports .... put tar .... well there is the downhill of tea-road too just towards satellite, which also needs redesign (ministry of works source funds to create straight highways) that will move on top of the mountains than caving ....
Minister Bahlengi Dlamini Mamba: of .......... 2018 -2028 .... Ncono nalesbongo sakaMshinga sesivamile.
Manqoba Mbulazi: The architecture of our highway is partly to blame. It’s not just Malagwane. Try the stop sign after the Sidwashini off-ramp (the intersection to Mbangweni and Waterford). There’s serious obstruction there such that a car coming from the Mbangweni direction is unsighted. There’s another one from the highway off-ramp to Mhlambanyatsi. Same story.
You can’t see a car coming from either NERCHA direction (from an awkward angle) and the other direction. I won’t even waste your time about the disaster waiting to happen e Bahai where you literally on-ramp on the fast lane. There’s a lot of risk involved on our highway. Our driving also takes a portion of the blame. Have you ever seen the speeding down Malagwane? It’s scary. Sesiyejwayele imoto
Kîng Sâhr: Sibongiseni ........ you can’t blame the architecture or the architect simply because the architect (design engineer) delivers on a brief and the architecture is a reflection of that brief. The brief is a guided by the budget. If the budget is limited, then limited features can be incorporated in the design.
The blame rests on the transportation planners (TP). It’s their job to advise the design engineers or architect. If the TPs are incompetent and things go wrong with them, it follows through to implementation.
Sibongiseni Mamba: That’s a technical argument you are raising. But whatever the case, you and I must live with the problem boet. That’s the issue.