High traffic volumes are being recorded on the country’s main routes as holidaymakers return to Gauteng. The N3 toll Route Consortium has reported over 1 600 vehicles at the Driehoek Toll plaza in Heidelberg and around 2 000 at the Tugela Plaza.
There are also reports of rain on the N3 along the Van Reenen Pass. N3 Toll Concession Operations Manager, Thania Dhoogra says, “Increased traffic on the route may lead to congestion and delays. Law enforcement officers are on the route monitoring the traffic. And my implement traffic control measures on Van Reenan to regulate traffic flow should it be necessary to do so.
“Motorists are advised to please be patient and alert while travelling on the route and follow all traffic signs.”
Earlier on N3 between Durban and Johannesburg, more than 1 500 vehicles were counted passing through the toll gates at the Mariannhill toll plaza, in Durban, travelling in a northerly direction towards Gauteng.
Close to 1000 vehicles were counted travelling south towards Durban.
As scores of holidaymakers head back to Gauteng, the provincial traffic police have called on motorists to drive with caution.
Gauteng alone has recorded around 200 road fatalities this festive season so far. The N1 between Mokopane and Mookgophong was closed due to a serious accident – but has since been re-opened.
Gauteng Traffic Police Spokesperson, Sello Maremane says, “The Gauteng Traffic Police urge motorists to exercise caution following reported road crashes that led to most fatalities during the festive season. Traffic volumes are expected to increase on the major roads as a lot of people are expected to travel back to Gauteng from various provinces in order to resume with their economic activities.”
‘Inspect vehicles journeys’
Occupants of a light motor vehicle that caught alight at the toll plaza escaped without injury. Law enforcement agencies however urged commuters to inspect their vehicles before embarking on their journeys.
Extra traffic officers have also been deployed at strategic points along the N3.
Earlier, our reporter Jayed Paulse spoke to the provincial road traffic inspectorate.
12h00 01/01 #HighTrafficVolumes are expected #JoburgBound towards Gauteng on the #N3TollRoute over the next few days. #LawEnforcement and #EmergencyServices are on the route to help keep #RoadUsers #Safe. #ShareTheRoadResponsibly pic.twitter.com/Com6dKQ7f6
— N3 Toll Concession (@N3Route) January 1, 2022
Traffic set to pick up on Eastern Cape roads
Meanwhile, traffic volumes to and from the Eastern Cape are expected to peak from Sunday as people head home after the New Year break.
It has been a busy month for traffic law enforcement on Eastern Cape roads. More than 500 motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol during the month of December.
Traffic volumes in the province are also expected to pick up as people make their way home after the holiday.
Earlier on Sunday, traffic volumes on N2 between East London and Mthatha were still relatively low. Motorists say it’s still looking good out on the roads, claiming they are seeing fewer incidents than in previous years.
A motorist Kholokazi Ngoma says, “My experience driving in the Eastern Cape this year has been amazing. I have not seen any accidents on the road for the first time ever. So I think they have done a really really good job. I do not know what they did but it has been good.”
Another motorist Nombulelo Gongxeka adds, “It has been so good, there was not much traffic. We traveled from Joburg on the N1 the traffic was just free-flowing. The N6 is perfect – beautiful. Now we are exploring the N2 via Durban to Joburg.”
Some hit the road early to avoid the heavy traffic.
Motorist Vince Westernburg says, “We are going home. We had a lovely New Year in East London and we want to neat the traffic that is why we are leaving early.”
The Eastern Cape department of transport will continue with its road safety operations this week. Its Transport Spokesperson Unati Binqose says, “Starting from today up until the end of next week possibly, there will be a huge volume of traffic, those that will be going back to Joburg, those that will be going back to Cape Town. So we need to pay special attention and ensure that they get to their destinations alive. And one of the things we are going to do is to clamp down really hard on drunk drivers.”
Traffic authorities are also requesting people ensure their animals are fenced in as collisions with animals remain a problem on Eastern Cape roads.
-Additional reporting by Jayed-Leigh Paulse