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Striking taxis block routes to OR Tambo: How to deal with heavy traffic

2017-03-10 08:02

TRAFFIC CHAOS: Traffic on the R24 has come to a standstill due to metered taxi protests against Uber. Alternative routes are also being affected. Image: Duncan Alfreds, News24

Cape Town - Earlier in February, protesting truck drivers had brought traffic to a standstill as they had blocked freeways heading into Pretoria, causing huge traffic jams and affecting hundreds of motorists.

In March, metered taxis have caused a 'go-slow' bringing the R24 to a halt near Edenvale heading towards OR Tambo International Airport.

News24 reported that the airport advised passengers to arrive early for flights. The protest is believed to be over competition from Uber and Taxify. 

Motorists are advised to avoid Gillooly's Interchange, due to the protest.

READ: Commuters may miss flights due to metered taxi strike near ORT

Mokheseng added that Gauteng police are working at resolving the matter with taxi drivers.

EMPD spokesperson Lieutenant Kobeli Mokheseng told News24 on Friday morning: "It’s not clear what their conflict is. As you know, the Gauteng police have a unit called the taxi conflict unit. Police and other units are working towards a resolution."

"If you are hoping of catching an early flight, you might be in trouble. I doubt anyone will make it now." 

In the early hours of the morning, metered taxis blocked the R24 freeway heading east between Edenvale and Barbara Road Off ramp, News24 reported: A little before 7am, Mokheseng said about 60 metered taxis were also seen blocking the left lane of the Olifantsfontein off-ramp heading north in Tembisa.

Motorists are advised to add at least an hour to their driving time. Alternative routes suggested are the N12 to the R21. 

Here are top tips for beating traffic chaos:

1 Know an alternative route 
You might drive the same daily route to work but it's imperative to have an alternative. Acquaint yourself with alternative routes and new areas. 

ALERT: OR Tambo access delays due to taxi strike

2 Don’t 'ride' your clutch
Just be patient. Put your car in neutral or even turn off the ignition if traffic isn’t moving. Riding your clutch in traffic will lead to extensive wear and tear leading to expensive repairs.

3 Keep a safe following
Adjust your following distance and keep a 2-3 second gap between the car ahead. This could prevent a nasty fender-bender and will allow you room to maneuver.

4 Calm down
If you're stuck in traffic, realise that you're not the only that's stressed out and potentially late for work. Violence is never the answer. If someone cuts you off, Arrive Alive comments: “Take a deep breath, simply back off a little and regain enough space – what counts is your safety!”

5 Go for breakfast, you're late anyway
If there’s an alternative route or road, why not go for breakfast and check your emails, catch-up on work etc.

6 Keep your phone fully charged
Make sure your phone is charged and that you're able to charge-up on the go (i.e powerbank). Have a spare battery or phone stored in your car.

READ: Worst traffic in SA? Joburg no longer tops in congestion

7 Tell someone where you are
Always make sure someone knows of your whereabouts and when/if you will be delayed.

8 Be aware of suuroundings
Just because you’re stuck in traffic doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. Always be aware of your surroundings and alert to criminals taking advantage of stranded drivers. Make sure your doors are locked and luggage/valuables stowed away.

9 Switch your car off
Being stuck in traffic means your car might consume more, especially if it’s not equipped with stop/start technology. It's a good idea to switch off your vehicle if you're stationary for more than 30 seconds at a time. 

10 Car essentials
You never know when disaster will strike on SA's roads so be prepared by storing water and snacks in your vehicle. It's also good idea to have a spare change of clothes and a raincoat in your boot. Arrive Alive’s Johan Jocke says: “It's always good to have a medical kit in the car. Also have water available - there may be young passengers or the elderly on-board and it's critical to stay hydrated.”


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