Are you and your vehicle ready for the long trip? N3 road authorities share tips on safe travel

Traffic congestion

The N3 Toll Concession said by Thursday, an uptick in traffic volumes heading towards KwaZulu-Natal had been recorded, and the trend peaked at 4am on Friday. File Picture: David Ritchie / Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 15, 2023

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As millions of people across South Africa embark on year-end trips to different destinations, authorities are appealing to motorists to ensure that vehicles are in good working order before embarking on journeys.

In October, IOL reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa had declared December 15 a public holiday to celebrate the victory of the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup. At the time, Ramaphosa said he would not be able to declare the public holiday soon after the Rugby World Cup in order to allow matric learners to write their exams.

After the “special” holiday on Friday, South Africans will observe the Day of Reconciliation on Saturday.

Ramaphosa will deliver a keynote address at the national event to be held at Thohoyandou Stadium, Thulamela Local Municipality, Vhembe District in Limpopo on Saturday.

Numerous companies have now closed shop for the annual year-end break, paving the way for travellers and holidaymakers to traverse the country and beyond the borders of South Africa. However, the holiday season is characterised by heightened crime and road fatalities across the nation.

Speaking to broadcaster Newzroom Afrika, Thania Dhoogra, operations manager at the N3 Toll Concession, said by Thursday, an uptake in traffic volumes heading towards KwaZulu-Natal had been recorded as early as 4am on Friday.

The N3 Toll Concession said by Thursday, an uptick in traffic volumes heading towards KwaZulu Natal had been recorded, and the trend peaked at 4am on Friday. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / Independent Newspapers

She said while a number of crashes have been recorded since the beginning of the month, before 9am on Friday, there were no major incidents reported to be obstructing the flow of traffic.

Dhoogra added that vehicle mechanical failure is also one of the major contributors to road crashes in South Africa. Other key contributors to the heavy collisions include human error.

Traffic congestion at N3 highway. File Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng / Independent Newspapers

Dhoogra told Newzroom Afrika that, according to historic statistics, driver behaviour tends to be one of the biggest probable causes of crashes.

She added that drivers needed to ensure that they themselves and the vehicles they use could tackle the journey to their holiday destinations.

Motorists are also urged to take regular breaks during long trips to lessen fatigue, heighten visibility, and adhere to the prescribed speed limits on the different road stretches.

A road accident where one person was killed and four were injured on Booth Road in Durban. File Picture: ALS Paramedics

IOL reported earlier this week that South Africa is one of the world’s most dangerous countries in which to drive.

This is according to recent research by the renowned international driver’s education company Zutobi.

South Africa was compared to 50 other countries around the globe, finishing first as the world’s most dangerous.

According to the company's most recent research, South Africa was followed by Thailand, then the US.

The most dangerous countries for driving have remained consistent since last year, with the three most dangerous seeing no change.

IOL