High traffic volumes as holidaymakers return to Gauteng

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Motorists making the journey back to Gauteng after the festive season holidays have been urged to take regular breaks and to avoid driving at night.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RMTC) says this will help to reduce accidents and save lives.

The corporation says traffic officials have been experiencing high traffic volumes since the start of the weekend.

On Saturday, eight people were killed in a head-on collision on the N3, about 10 kilometers from Warden, in the Free State.

Six cars were involved in the crash.

The incident was a second in days.

On New Year’s Day, eight people lost their lives in a crash between two taxis and a truck on the N1 near Leeu Gamka in the Karoo.

RTMC spokesperson, Simon Zwane, is urging motorists to drive with caution.

“We really want to encourage people who are returning to be very cautious on the roads, take their regular rests, ensure that they are fresh all the way until they reach Gauteng.”

The N3 Toll Concession says that throughout Monday, high traffic volumes bound for Gauteng have been recorded:

“Traffic volumes on the N3 have been busy since morning, picking at around 1 200 vehicles in the afternoon. All travelling in the Northbound direction,” says N3 Operations Manager, Thania Doorga.

Doorga has urged motorists to adjust their driving in bad weather conditions and reduced visibility.

“Wet weather and poor visibility has been reported on sections of the route. Road users are advised to please adapt their driving style accordingly. Reducing speed, increasing following distances, and ensuring that their headlights are on.  N3 Toll Concession urges road users to be alert and vigilant at all times while using the route. And to please share the route responsibly.”

Compliance to regulations

Gauteng Transport MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, says he is pleased that those returning to the province are complying with COVID-19 regulations.

Mamabolo, who joined law enforcement at a roadblock on the N17 at the border of Gauteng and Mpumalanga, says similar operations are under way across the province.

“With respect to COVID-19 compliance both from public transport and private motorists is that the message seems to have reached the people because what we are seeing is that everybody who is passing through the roadblock is wearing a mask and we are also seeing people are carrying their own sanitisers, public transport has their own sanitisers and people are confirming that when the taxis leave the taxi ranks they do get sanitised.”

Gauteng authorities have also used the roadblocks to screen and test people for COVID-19.

Earlier, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, warned that the next two weeks will be critical as the number of people infected with COVID-19 continues to rise daily.