Emergency services have been placed on high alert this Easter weekend to ensure the safety of travellers on the N3 Toll Route during this peak traffic period. Although no effort has been spared by N3 Toll Concession (N3TC) and its partners to curb emergencies and keep traffic flowing, the onus also rests on every single driver to play their part to minimise crashes.
Reckless driving continues to be one of the top causes of accidents on the N3 Toll Route. During 2014, the majority of crashes were caused by drivers losing control of their vehicles and rolling, followed by head-tail collisions and vehicles leaving the road. Speed, aggressive driver behaviour and lack of vehicles’ roadworthiness play a part in all of these crashes.
According to N3TC, the majority of crashes (80.4%) happened in clear weather, while 8.4% happened in overcast weather and 7.7% when it was raining.
N3TC manages the N3 Toll Route between Heidelberg in Gauteng and Cedara in KwaZulu-Natal and keeps a close watch on traffic patterns, driver behaviour and crash statistics.
Easter crashes decreased by 47.4% from 2013 to 2014 and fatal crashes decreased by 83.3% in 2014. The number of fatalities decreased by 50% to four fatalities during 2014.
“Although these statistics show a positive trend towards general road safety, N3TC is very aware that the risks increase exponentially when traffic volumes are high, and therefore appeals to all road users to exercise extreme caution when they do travel during these periods,” says Andy Visser, N3TC marketing manager.
“Traffic conditions can be demanding and stressful during peak periods. Drivers are advised to plan their trips in advance, be aware of road and weather conditions ahead, remain patient and courteous, stay alert and take regular rest stops,” says Visser.
Peak traffic conditions are expected southbound (towards KwaZulu-Natal) on Thursday, 02 April between 10:00 and 21:00 and also on Friday, 03 April from 04:00 to 15:00.
Easter Monday, 06 April is expected to the busiest day of all on the N3 Toll Route with extremely high traffic volumes expected northbound (towards Gauteng) between 09:00 and 21:00; and also on Tuesday, 7 April between 13:00 and 18:00.
Various interventions are planned for the Easter weekend to maximise traffic accommodation and general route safety. No construction work will take place during this period and all traffic lanes will be open. Remedial work will only be performed where absolutely necessary.
It is planned to have a number of emergency satellite stations at key locations along the route where route patrol teams, emergency medical services and law enforcement authorities will be based. Apart from general operations, traffic authorities will also focus on:
- Alcohol screening
- Public transport compliance
- Stop and search
- All vehicle roadworthy compliance
- Sector policing and patrolling
- Blue and red light visibility
- Vehicles causing obstructions
Over and above the traffic authorities, SAPS and ambulance services on standby during the Easter weekend, additional emergency support will be provided by:
- N3TC Route Patrol team
- 13 Imperial iPledge emergency vehicles provided by Europcar
- SAPS motorbikes patrolling Van Reenen’s Pass
- Community Medical Services (CMS) providing medical support and emergency response teams on Van Reenen’s Pass
- Angels in Motion teams to assist with post-crash care of victims and their families
- BMW roadside assistance teams
“N3TC is heartened by the support it receives from the various authorities, emergency response teams and volunteers. We are convinced that the high visibility of the emergency services helps to positively adjust driver behaviour, improves active law enforcement, emergency response times and patient care. There is no doubt that this mammoth effort leads to safer roads,” adds Visser.
Plan your trip in advance and familiarise yourself with road and weather conditions by contacting the 24-hour N3TC Route Control Centre on 0800 63 4357 (0800 N3 HELP) or download the N3TC Mobility APP on your smartphone or tablet. Motorists can obtain the latest traffic and weather information by following the N3 Route on Twitter @N3Route.