The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport has called for responsible driving as visitors and holiday makers descend into the province ahead of the much-anticipated Durban July Weekend.
The department said it’s a known fact that during this period and event there is an influx of people on the N3 and N2 to Durban, mostly visitors from neighboring provinces and other parts of the province.
Motorists are cautioned to take extra responsibility and exercise extra vigilance as many roads are damaged by the recent floods, which is causing serious congestion and delays, department spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said.
Ncalane said road lanes are reduced in some instances and some, due to torrential rains, have developed potholes.
He said there is also a lot of construction taking place as part of the provincial post-flood reconstruction and recovery plan.
“The provincial government, working with the South African National Road Agency SOC Limited (Sanral) has developed a clear traffic management plan to address the issue of traffic and congestion on the N3.
The plan seeks to respond to the spate of accidents that continues to happen on N3 Peter Brown, which involves a lot of heavy vehicles.
“The plan includes installation of cameras to monitor traffic, deploying traffic police to assist, compulsory stop and enforcement for heavy vehicles, deploying technology and mobile robots to manage traffic control,” he said.
Sanral has also activated its traffic management centre in Mkhondeni to ensure effective monitoring of the traffic and prompt interventions where necessary, he said.
In addition, said Ncalane, the province has asked for additional deployment of traffic officers from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) for the deployment of national traffic police.
He said municipal traffic will also work together with the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI) to monitor other strategic roads and mount intense operations. KZN head of transport Siboniso Mbhele said the escalation of accidents on the N3 is a serious concern and motorists need to be responsible.
“We appeal to motorists to be extra careful and leave for their destinations early. There are many areas that are affected by the floods, including the N2 in uMgababa, N2 uMhlanga River Bridge and the N2 uMhlali bridge.
“The M4 and R102, which are alternatives to N2, is still closed in parts due to sinkholes caused by floods.”
Mbhele said challenges on the N3 at Peter Brown, on Town Hill, are receiving attention and they have a joint traffic monitoring team working with Sanral to avert further loss of lives on the stretch of road.
The department said operations will be targeting drinking and driving, excessive speeding and driving without proper documentation.