THE festive season should be about taking time off, reflecting on the year, spending time with loved ones and creating joyful memories. It should not be about road fatalities.
Charmaine van Wyk, of Bakwena Platinum Corridor Concessionaire, the operator of the N1N4 toll route, urged motorists to obey the rules of the road, abide by speed limits and take extra precautions, especially at designated traffic hotspots in the upcoming holiday season.
Van Wyk said motorists, whether driving to the coast, mountains, or bush, must plan their routes ahead of time. They must include enough time to reach their destinations safely. They also need to keep other road users in their minds at all times.
“Unfortunately, there is always an increase in traffic-related injuries and deaths over the holidays. South Africa ranks 42nd in terms of road fatalities as a percentage of the population – not only motorists – according to the World Resources Institute.”
To make sure that the roads are safer for all users, there will be extra, high-
visibility patrols by traffic officers.
She wants motorists to avoid unsafe overtaking, not to drink and drive, avoid distracted driving, and not to continue driving if tired or fatigued.
“Driving fatigue often occurs when motorists set off at the end of a day’s work, rather than leaving after a good night’s rest.
“This is a common cause of accidents and fatalities.”
- Expected peak travel times are on 8, 15 and 22 December, between 12pm and 8pm, on the N1 northbound. On the N1 southbound, 2 and 7 January, between 12pm and 8pm. It is advisable for drivers to plan their journeys in advance to avoid travelling during these peak traffic periods.
- All lanes at plazas will be open, including reversible lanes in peak directions to make sure that the traffic flows smoothly in all directions.
- Check the car’s tyres, lights, brakes, water and oil levels, as well as windscreen wipers. This should be standard before any long trip.
- Keep a three-second distance between the you and vehicle in front of you. Increase distance at times of low visibility.
- Do not drink and drive. Drinking and driving is a major contributor to the carnage on South African roads. The police and traffic authorities will deal with those caught driving drunk to the fullest extent of the law.
- Avoid texting or reading your phone or tablet devices while driving. That’s for passengers only!
- On long trips, take breaks every two hours or every 200km. Immediately stop and rest if you feel tired.
- Do not stop on the side of the road unless you are in an emergency. Make sure you are as far as possible to the left of the yellow line.
In case of an emergency, road users on the N1N4 simply have to call the Bakwena customer care centre on 0800-Bakwena (0800 225 9362) and use the information displayed on the blue kilometre board markers to provide details of their location when reporting an accident or requesting assistance.
Additionally, motorists can also follow @BakwenaN1N4 on Twitter for live traffic updates.