Non-roadworthy vehicles and negligent driving practices have been the cause of a number of serious accidents on the N4 Toll Route recently.
Causes of accidents are seldom singular. It is often caused by speed, non-roadworthy vehicles (bad tyres, no tail lights, no brakes, overloading, etc) and a total lack of adherence to road rules.
In the last month, two minibus accidents claimed the lives of 23 people (12 and 11 fatalities respectively). The first accident was caused when a tyre burst, while eye witnesses said it seemed that the driver of the minibus in the second accident fell asleep and/or lost control of the vehicle. In both incidences, the vehicles were traveling at high speeds.
Trans African Concessions (TRAC) is outraged by the lack of responsibility drivers take for their own (their passengers and other road users’) safety on South Africa’s road.
As toll concessionaire, TRAC (who operates and manages the N4 Toll Route east between Pretoria and Maputo) constantly analyses accident hot spots on the N4 Toll Route, and where patterns exist, put safety measures in place. “But, even if we can provide the safest possible route, drivers have to take equal responsibility for road safety. They need to remember that they have lethal weapons in their hands when they get behind the wheel, and they should adopt defensive driving techniques to protect their own, and other road users’ lives,” said Anita Heyl, spokesperson for TRAC.
During November 122 accidents were reported on the N4 Toll Route in South Africa and Mozambique. Top causes of these accidents were:
1. Tyre bursts
2. Lost control
3. Negligent driving (making u-turns, overtaking on solid lines, aggressive driving patterns, etc)
Between January and November 2010, TRAC provided roadside assistance to 1121 vehicles on the N4 Toll Route. In the majority of cases help was required for vehicles which had mechanical failure or broke down (585) and flat tyres (249). In 240 instances the vehicles could not be repaired and had to be towed away.
Non-roadworthy and overloaded vehicles are extremely dangerous and should not be on our roads. Many of horrible accidents could be prevented if vehicles were roadworthy (kept in a good working order).
TRAC has no law enforcement rights or responsibilities, but the company gives its full support to traffic authorities and the SAPS who police the N4. No tolerance should be given to speedsters and owners of non-roadworthy vehicles. Visible policing has a direct impact on the reduction of accidents.
As example, just in Schoemanskloof where TRAC is currently busy with construction, it has been noted how vehicles travel at high speeds (in excess of 100 km/h) through 60km/h construction zones. Despite the fact that road signs to reduce speed and numerous other danger warnings have been erected, it seems to have no visible effect on speeding motorists and trucks. The total lack of obedience to traffic signs is shocking.
Road Safety and Tyre Checks at ALZU Petroport on 15 December 2010
In response to the high incidence of tyre bursts causing accidents on the N4 Toll Route, TRAC, with the support of Tiger Wheel and Tyre (TWT) and ALZU will be performing tyre pressure checks free of charge at the ALZU Petroport on Wednesday, 15 December between 10:00 and 17:00.
TRAC, TWT, Arrive Alive and ALZU invite all travellers on the N4 to take rest stops and also receive a quick, free tyre inspection. “The management of Alzu Petroport is committed to road safety and gives its support to initiatives to reduce traffic accidents on our roads. Our business is dependent on road users and almost 90% of our staff make use road transport to and from work. There is no compromise when it comes to road safety,” says Gerrie du Toit, one of the ALZU owners.
The ALZU Petroport is located near Wonderfontein between Middelburg and Belfast (approximately 36km from Middelburg Plaza).
The TRACassist emergency and rescue helicopter and a paramedic will be stationed here on the 15th to provide emergency medical support on accident scenes and assist TRAC with traffic monitoring between Middelburg and Machado Plazas.
To report problems on the N4 Toll Route or to get help, contact TRACassist on 0800 8722 64 or 082 881 4444 in South Africa and on +258 84 343 4 346 or +258 303 4 303. This is a 24-hour, 7 days
a week service offered by TRAC as an investment in our motoring community.
Sections of the N4 Toll Route experience heavy rain falls and mist this time of year. TRAC appeals to all road users to keep their head lights on, reduce speed and increase their following distances when weather conditions are bad and visibility poor.
Expected peak traffic dates
· Wednesday, December 15 (direction east) between 12:00 – 22:00
· Thursday, December 16 (direction east) between 08:00 – 16:00
· Friday, December 24 (direction east) between 08:00 – 18:00
· Friday, December 31 (direction east) between 12:00 – 18:00
· Sunday, January 02, 2011 (direction west)) between 12:00 – 22:00
· Sunday, January 09, 2011 (direction west) between 12:00 – 22:00
The majority of traffic is expected to make use of the Middelburg and Machado Toll Plazas. Road users should expect delays at peak times. To avoid slow moving traffic, especially at toll plazas, it is advisable to travel outside of peak periods.
Visitors to Nelspruit/Mbombela are reminded to keep eyes out for new Nelspruit Ring Road
Visitors travelling to Nelspruit and Malalane may be surprised to find the once familiar surroundings have changed. The new Nelspruit Ring Road around the busy central business district is now open. The Ring Road has improved travelling time between Nelspruit and Malalane by almost 30 minutes.
Slow down when approaching Nelspruit, and look out for road signs indicating the new routes available.
Construction and maintenance work along the N4
No construction or upgrading work will be performed along the N4 Toll Route from 15 December to 10 January in South Africa and from17 December to 10 January in Mozambique.
Maintenance work will be performed if required. Travellers should, however, take care along the following areas:
Construction work is underway to contain the rock slides which occurred in Schoemanskloof at De Beers Nek (section N4-6Y 20.0 East). Preventative measures are in place to protect road users from rock slides. The eastbound slow lane (in this section) is temporarily closed to traffic. Temporary signs have been erected to guide motorists and speed is being restricted to 60km/h.
In Mozambique the EN4 is being re-surfaced between Matola (Shoprite intersection) and Maputo. Construction will stop on 17 December and should not have any impact on traffic.
Construction work is also underway between Ressano Garcia and Moamba, but there will be no impact on traffic between 17 December and 10 January.
TRACassist numbers for help during emergencies or for road side assistance:
South Africa: 0800 8722 64 / 082 881 4444
Mozambique: +258 84 343 4 346 / +258 82 303 4 303
Customer Care Line: 0800 TRAC N4 (0800 8722 64)
Customer Care E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org