Taking back our roads: 'Safe N2 Project' in action

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 BECOME A CONVOY MEMBER: The N2 Safe Project uses convoy stickers to help its community identify members and offer assistance when in need or to drive together on the N2. Image: Facebook ~ Facebook

CAPE TOWN - Attacks on road users using the N2 in Cape Town are on the rise, even local police are under threat.

The latest incident occurred when Warrant Officer Petrus Holz was stabbed to death in Cape Town on the N2, near the Macassar turn-off, while changing a tyre on Wednesday, July 29.

The Safe N2 Project, a community lift-club initiative, has been created after an overwhelming response by commuters calling for safer roads.

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?

According to the project's website: “The concept was simple: create a WhatsApp group that members could use to inform each other of dangers, closures, breakdowns as well as requesting convoy travel partners.

"The overwhelming response and the limitations on the WhatsApp group platform resulted in us getting together to find the best possible solution for the community in order to keep this initiative alive for the benefit and safety of everyone."


WATCH: Safer N2 Project explained

Charmaine Sutherland, one of the executive members of the group said: "The Safe N2 Project is 100% community driven.

"What is heartwarming for us, is the fact that a broken community actually rose from the ashes, joined forces and took hands from nowhere. None of us knew each other. The five committee members only met each other for the first time on Saturday. It’s got nothing to do with politics, race or gender.

"It’s a community that said ‘We’ve actually had enough'. We want to be proactive. We want to make a difference, we want to help ourselves.”

N2 CONVOY

Sutherland said the group has also come up with N2 Convoy Member stickers which enables users of the network to identify each other on the road in the event someone has a flat tyre or wants to drive in convoy from Somerset West on the N2 towards Cape Town, and so forth.

Safe N2 executive member Neil Slater said within two hours the initial WhatsApp group had 500 members and within a week it grew to 4000 and the community network is currently standing on 4500 and still continuing to grow on a daily basis.

Slater also said Daniel Plato, minister for community safety in the Western Cape, was invited to the groups first meeting and had promised to support the group.

Slater said: ”We got together and said let’s see what resources we have to start building a network of just users, commuters on the N2, and how we can communicate with each other and keeping each other informed on the N2.

"Basically what we do as the N2 Safe Project initiative is establish a platform that people can use to create convoys and to be able to communicate with each other. That is our main focus."

WATCH: How to get involved in the Safe N2 Project

Many local companies such as Connections in the Strand has come on board and sponsored the project with devices to make communication possible with the 4500 members via their broadcast group.

Sutherland also added that safety is their prime focus and they do not encourage users to stop along the N2 to send messages so members can send voice notes or passengers can notify the main group who then sends out traffic or support messages to the entire network. 

For more information on the N2 Safe Project, visit their website or join the Facebook page.

Have you witnessed or been the victim of attacks on the N2? What do you think about the Safe N2 Project and would you find it useful to join? Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...