20+ vehicles hit by tanker in Alberton

More than 20 vehicles have been hit by a petrol tanker which has gone out of control on the N12 in Alberton.

Van der Linde wins ADAC GT Masters

SA motorsport teen Kelvin van der Linde and team mate Rene Rast have won the ADAC GT Masters 2014 title in Germany on Sunday.

Sanral 'good guy' for safer Hex

2013-09-04 17:00

DE DOORNS CRASH: People died when this bus overturned near De Doorns - but it wasn't an 'accident'. Somebody did something wrong... Image: SAPA

kalahari.com

  • Awesome South Africa

    The best, greatest, craziest, biggest, and funniest - Awesome South Africa will intrigue you, make... Was R264.00 Now R245.00


    buy now

 
Sanral - more usually embroiled in toll-roads controversy - has partnered with Fleetwatch magazine’s Brake and Tyre Watch to cut crashes on the N1's Hex River Pass.

South African magazine Fleetwatch’s nationwide 'Brake and Tyre Watch Initiative' has trained more than 1000 traffic cops to identify and remove unroadworthy heavy vehicles from South African roads. Now Sanral has come aboard...

Sanral (South African National Roads Agency) - more usually in the news because of toll roads - has partnered with the magazine to, among other things, reduce the number of vehicle disasters on the Hex River Pass on the N1 just north of De Doorns.

Fleetwatch magazine's genial owner and editor Patrick O’Leary emphasised: "Our main concern is road safety - we targeted those involved, particularly transport operators and traffic officers, to raise their awareness of efficient braking and tyre checks."

About 70% of trucks stopped by traffic cops failed the checks. Which Wheels24 finds pretty darn scary...

'SPECIALISED KNOWLEDGE'

"This initiative," O'Leary adds, "is also linked to preventative maintenance on trucks, including safety-critical items such as lights and reflective markings."

Fleetwatch has shown Western Cape traffic officers how to put trucks through a brake roller test, a function started in February 2006 which also focuses on trailer defects and other faults. O'Leary added: “We want to empower traffic officers with specialised knowledge so they can intervene more frequently to take unroadworthy heavy vehicles off our roads."

A five-kilometre stretch of the Hex River Pass's southbound (downhill) lanes north of De Doorns have in the past three years seen 33 crashes that have killed 50 people - 47 of them in two bus crashes caused, most likely by brake failure.

Back in 2000 Sanral has insisted heavy vehicles must stop at the top of the pass, engage a low gear, and "crawl" the descent. Which didn't prevent the 50 deaths...

'DEEPLY CONCERNED'

An arrestor bed for runaway trucks was installed along with a concrete barrier and retaining wall between the highway and the river ravine on the pass's notorious hairpin bend.

A Sanral spokesperson added: "The 15km Hex River pass has an average downgrade of six percent, a true test of a vehicle’s brakes. The arrestor bed has been used more than 50 times in the past last six months (to end August 2013). We are deeply concerned by the state of heavy vehicles and buses on our roads and initiatives such as Fleetwatch’s 'Brake and Tyre Watch' are most welcome."

Plans include speed cameras before start of the downhill, buses being included in the compulsory stop, licence-plate recognition and more deflection barriers.

NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    south africa  |  sanral  |  traffic  |  good news

Read Wheels24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside Wheels24

Infiniti Q50 turbo joins growing SA range

Four months have slipped by since the Infiniti Q50 supersedan was launched in KZN for South African buyers. What might be called the baby of the family has now arrived: the Q50 2.0 turbopetrol.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.