BE ALERT! Emergency services, police and volunteers are already on duty on the N3 toll route between Gauteng and Durban ahead of the main Easter holiday rush. Shutterstock
DURBAN, kwaZulu-Natal - Emergency services on the N3 Toll Route claim to be (March 31 2015) on high alert already for the Easter weekend but point out that crash avoidance is the responsibility of every driver.
N3TC is part of the highway that links industrial Gauteng with the holiday city of Durban and the north and south sections of coastal KZN.
Reckless driving, N3TC said, was still a major cause of crashes on its route. During 2014 most involved lost vehicle control followed by a roll, rear-ending, and vehicles simply going off the road.. Speed, aggressive driving and unroadworthy vehicles were also to blame.
Strangely - given general perception - the N3TC reported wet weather was the safest time to use the its highway. Only 7.7% of crashes were reported in rain, 8.4% in overcast (cloud,mist) but 80.4% when the weather was clear.
The N3 Toll Route runs between Heidelberg in Gauteng and Cedara in KZN and a close watch is kept on traffic patterns, driving behaviour and crash statistics - the last showing that Easter crashes in 2014 were, N3TC claims, down by 47.4% from 2013; fatal crashes decreased by 83.3% and the number of dead in 2014 was half that of the previous year.
N3TC's spokesman Andy Visser said: "These statistics show a positive trend but we are very aware that the risks increase exponentially when traffic volumes are high."
A figure that, Wheels24 believes, might not be accurate. Christmas travel, for instance, carries a lower average road-death rate than a normal working day.
PLAN THAT TRIP
Nevertheless, N3TC is asking all Easter road users to exercise extreme caution during Easter and other holiday periods. Visser again: “Drivers are advised to plan their trips; be aware of road and weather conditions ahead; be patient and courteous; stay alert and stop regularly."
Peak traffic is expected from Gauteng to KZN on Thursday April 2 from 10am-9pm, on Good Friday from 4am-3pm. Easter Monday is expected to the busiest day with "extremely high" traffic volume towards Gauteng from 9am-9pm and on Tuesday, April 7 from 1pm-6pm.
The tollsters say drivers will not have to negotiate any roadwork; all lanes will be open. There wil be emergency satellite stations at key locations with emergency medical services and police.
Apart from general operations, traffic authorities will also focus on:
• Alcohol screening
• Public transport compliance and search
• Roadworthy compliance
• Sector policing and patrolling
• Blue and red-light visibility
• Vehicles causing obstructions
Over and above the traffic authorities, the police and ambulance services are already on stand-by. More emergency support will be provided by:
• N3TC route patrol team
• 13 Imperial iPledge emergency vehicles provided by Europcar
• SAPS motorcycles on Van Reenen’s Pass
• Community Medical Services providing medical support and emergency response teams on Van Reenen’s Pass
• Angels in Motion teams to help with post-crash care of the injured and their families
• BMW roadside assistance teams
Visser said road users could get traffic and weather information 24/7 from the N3TC Route Control Centre on 0800 63 4357 (0800 N3 HELP) or download the N3TC Mobility app to a smartphone or tablet.Or follow Twitter on @N3Route