Warning as traffic starts to increase at start of long weekend


Be extra cautious if you plan to travel on rural roads over the coming long weekend.

Traffic is expected to pick up significantly on national and secondary routes across South Africa on Thursday afternoon as families take advantage of the long weekend to travel.

“All the national routes are expected to be busy from this afternoon‚ especially the N1 to Limpopo‚ the N4 to Mpumalanga‚ N3 to Durban‚ the N2 between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape‚ the N2 between KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape‚” said Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Simon Zwane.

And for many‚ the journey will involve crossing borders. “The border posts into Lesotho‚ Swaziland‚ Mozambique‚ and Zimbabwe are expected to be busy today and tomorrow‚” said Zwane.

While the national routes will be busy‚ Arrive Alive website editor Johan Jonck cautioned motorists to be vigilant‚ especially on non-national routes.

“If we look back at this past Easter weekend … the interesting bit is‚ if we look at the 510 people who passed away in 12 days‚ there has been a shift towards the rural roads. I am actually afraid that we see a lot of traffic enforcement on our main roads where most of the vehicles drive.

“The N3 between Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg‚ they had one fatality and it was a pedestrian. There is a lot of enforcement on that road. It is alarming that so many of the fatalities happen on rural roads. It is concerning that a lot of the motorists feel they can drive like they want to on other roads that aren’t main roads. There are a lot of pedestrian fatalities on those (rural) roads. That is where you won’t find these big pedestrian bridges. We need to emphasise the message that road safety is required every day.”

The South African Weather Service travel forecast for Thursday flagged a high fire danger over the Central and Little Karoo of the Western Cape and northern interior of the Eastern Cape. Gale force winds were expected between Table Bay and Cape Agulhas.

On Wednesday evening‚ a truck was set alight on the N3 in the Winterton area of KwaZulu-Natal.

One website that provides live traffic updates for motorists is www.i-traffic.co.za

by Petru Saul -TimesLIVE


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