FOR THE ATTENTION OF: 29th July 2014
Mr Frank Malgas
Chief Traffic Officer
It is with an enormous amount of pleasure, that I find myself initiating this correspondence, as when it comes to receiving a traffic fine, generally it is not an experience that one enjoys. I was stopped just outside Colesberg by two of your officers, PI Khongoana and PI Sidanga, in a routine vehicle inspection. I was on my way to George for an event in a vehicle that I had collected from one of the motor manufacturers in Johannesburg earlier that morning. You can imagine my surprise, and extreme embarrassment as a Director of the Road Safety Foundation, to be told that I was driving an unlicensed vehicle as the license had expired some two months earlier. I had no doubt that, being owned by a motor manufacturer, the vehicle license would have been purchased, but someone had forgotten to attach it to the windscreen of the car.
Your two officers presented me with the pertinent fine and I must congratulate them on their admirable levels of communication. They were courteous and professional throughout the interaction and are a real credit, not only to your Department, but also to the Traffic Officer collective within South Africa, that generally does not enjoy a particularly positive reputation. May I ask you to pass on my thanks to the two officers concerned for their professionalism, and for reference, I will also be forwarding this communication on to the RTMC who I’m sure may also feel the need to respond.
From my side, as a driver of some forty odd years and holding a position within the road safety arena, another lesson has been learnt – don’t jump into a vehicle without checking that it’s fully roadworthy!!
Director : THE ROAD SAFETY FOUNDATION
P.O. Box 3362, Pretoria. 0001
A typical night on the "Hill"
Monday, a quiet day over the festive season period at Van Reenens Pass on the N3, a welcome respite after Sunday mornings horror crash outside Harrismith which claimed thirty lives, ten of them children. A day where vehicles and equipment are washed and checked and medical consumables are replaced in each vehicle, a period where the members of the Community Medical Services Team can relax and spend some healing time after this recent tragedy.
18:35 – A call comes through advising of an obstruction between ourselves and Montrose, approximately 6kms north of our base. A vehicle is despatched to assist with scene safety. On arrival, we find a heavy truck that has damaged its' propshaft, and is obstructing the slow northbound lane. A call is placed to the operator in Johannesburg to advise him of the trucks situation. Now normally the sequence of events in a case like this, would be a call to the operator to advise him of the situation, a call to a towing service to remove the vehicle to a safe position, thereby opening the road and removing a potentially dangerous obstruction, and releasing those emergency personnel that are assisting. However in this case, the operator refuses to accept liability for any towing costs, and instead despatches another horse from Johannesburg. This horse eventually arrives around 01:00 on Tuesday morning. In the meantime, the 'traditional' mist had covered the entire area, and attempts to manage and maintain an element of safety had become dangerously difficult. Apart from the lives of those tasked with protecting the scene, the chances of secondary crashes became a real issue as visibility reduced to less than 30 metres.
Community Medical Services
(in association with The Road Safety Foundation)
Easter Road Service Report Van Reenen - Easter 2008
A somewhat different Easter weekend was expected this year by the Community Medical Services Team based down at Van Reenens Pass on the N3 between Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. Coinciding with Easter weekend was the closure of most government schools in the country, resulting in an expected increase in normal Easter weekend traffic.
Traffic volumes started increasing earlier than normal, with our first threshold of 1000 vehicles per hour being recorded at 10:00 on Thursday morning. This volume rapidly climbed to just under 2000 vehicles per hour by 13:00, and held consistently in the 1800-2000 vehicles per hour until 20:00 that evening, whereafter a decrease down to 800 vehicles per hour at midnight was recorded. Friday morning volumes were over 1000 units per hour by 06:00, and peaked at 1400 vehicles per hour by 09:00. By 13:00, traffic volumes had decreased to around the 400 mark, and the team could begin to relax.
Inaccurate Readings at your peril!
Have you ever wondered what causes the huge amounts of tyre debris one sees lying on or alongside our South African roads? It seems that wherever you drive these days, bits of tyre, partial or even complete casings have become a common occurrence. Bridgestone South Africa tasked the Road Safety Foundation to look into this increasingly emerging phenomenon, in an attempt to ascertain the cause.
Bridgestone General Manager, Group Public Relations, Romano Daniels comments that tyre technology has improved substantially over the years, and whilst South Africa has recently started importing cheaper, and sometimes sub-standard tyres into the country, he doesn't believe that this could possibly be the only factor in this apparent increased tyre failure.