Motorists in Free State urged to use alternative routes as R30 labelled ‘death trap’ temporarily closed

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The efforts of the Free State Police, Roads and Transport Department to keep motorists off the R30 road between Allanridge and Bothaville are futile.

Due to the road’s poor condition, 17 people were killed in crashes over the course of two months, prompting the department to close it. More than 20 accidents have occurred on the road between January 29th and March 30th this year.

According to MEC William Bulwane, the road closure was unavoidable.

“We have decided as the department to close the road. And then in the next financial year as I will be presenting the budget on Thursday. I’m going to put some measures so we are going to fix that road in the next financial year. But for now, that road is closed. We are using the alternative roads”.

A low-lying patch of the road became water locked due to torrential rains, rendering the stretch a death trap for motorists and other road users. In early February, an Intercape bus was trapped in the flooded road.

Motorists have shunned alternative routes as they prolong their journeys and some are riddled with potholes.

A temporary measure has been applied for a distance of about 200 meters to alleviate the danger. Many say they continue to use the road despite the warning signs.

“I think as a temporary measure they have to put those speed humps because the signs are there but people are just driving through. The problem of this road is people.”

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has been inundated with accidents and motorists are urged to observe warning road signs.  EMS spokesperson, Sipho Towa says drinking and driving is also a problem.

“What we have also noticed out of the accidents is that about 72% of them there’s alcohol involved in the vehicles that have been recovered there. So we urge the drivers as well to not drink and drive and to take care. And when they are driving at night they must be on alert.”

The department has set plans afoot to implement a permanent solution.