Despite an overall increase in fatal crashes on the N3 Toll Route during 2017 (from 83 in 2016 to 119 between January and December 2017), N3TC noted a slight improvement in the number of fatalities during the peak holiday season.
“Considering the fact that traffic increased exponentially in December and that poor weather conditions were experienced at times, the decrease in the number of fatalities on the N3 Toll Route is significant,” says Con Roux, commercial manager of N3 Toll Concession.
A total of 12 fatal crashes were recorded during December 2017 with a total of 17 fatalities with only one being a pedestrian fatality. During the same period in 2016, 14 fatal crashes were recorded with 22 fatalities, including six pedestrian fatalities.
“Compared to 2016, this last year was marred by a high number of fatal incidents. During 2017, 165 people lost their lives compared to 111 in 2016. The number of pedestrian fatalities was also higher in 2017 at 35 compared to 29 in 2016. It is clear that people remain vulnerable on our roads. We must remain committed and unwavering in our joint efforts to improve road safety,” says Roux.
Fatal crashes impose an immense human and financial burden on society. The impact of the loss of a human life in terms of pain, grief and suffering is incalculable. In 2015, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) – in partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – reported human casualty costs comprised 69,3% of the total road traffic crash cost of R142.95-billion. Fatal crashes constituted 43,4% of the total cost. According to the report, a fatal crash costs the SA economy as much as R5.4-million, while a ‘damage only’ crash costs an average of R48 500.
“N3TC remains concerned about the severity of crashes on the N3 Toll Route, which often involves only single vehicles. A recent single light vehicle crash appears to have been caused by a tyre blow-out which resulted in three fatalities. During the December holiday season, 18 public transport vehicles were involved in crashes. Considering that public transport vehicles carry the most precious goods – human lives – this high number is extremely disturbing,” says Roux.
The main types of crashes recorded on the N3 Toll Route from January to December 2017, included:
- Vehicles leaving the road (26.1% of crashes).
- Vehicles rolling (22.3% of crashes).
- Head/Tail collisions, both moving and stationary vehicles (13.6% of crashes).
“N3TC wishes to extend its appreciation to the sterling efforts made by the emergency services, law enforcement officers and numerous volunteers throughout the holiday season to support and enhance safety on the N3 Toll Route. However, road safety cannot only be the responsibility of law enforcement and road and traffic management agencies. Every driver and every passenger should make it their business to make our roads safe. High risk behaviour on our roads is totally unacceptable and civil society should not condone or tolerate this,” says Roux.
FleetWatch Editor Patrick O’Leary on the scene of a truck crash on the N3 during December 2017 in which the truck driver was injured. This shows how many caring people are out there to help you in the event of a crash. Salute to them all!