Increase in safety and fines for motorists
A spokesperson for the Western Cape Government clarified that drivers have only been encouraged to ensure that they have enough fuel, as running out of fuel on the highway can be dangerous not only to yourself, but to other motorists as well.
Motorists who stop to unload passengers or to take a phone call on the side of the highway will be fined as these are already illegal offenses and have fines against them. However, motorists who breakdown or run out of fuel on the highway will not be fined.
According to the Western Cape law offence code from pre-August 2014, the fine for holding or using a cellular or mobile phone while driving between R500 and R1 000. The fine for stopping unnecessarily on the side of the highway to unload goods or people also ranges between R500 and R1 000.
Why the need for increased safety?
The increased safety on the N2 highway is as a result of the increase crimes that have taken place, most recently the murder of Warrant Officer Petrus Johannes Holz.
“The challenge raised by the recent increase in violent criminal incidents on the N2 between Cape Town and Somerset West has been met by all role-players working to ensure a safer environment for all road users and the communities living along this freeway,” revealed the Western Cape Government last week.
The number of incidents of violence and crime on the N2 has reduced since the introduction of a new priority committee, which has been coordinated by Robbie Robberts, director of Policing and Enforcement Services in the City of Cape Town.
A joint operation
The Department of Transport and Public Works, and the Department of Community Safety for the Western Cape Government are working in partnership with a number of agency to ensure that the N2 highway is safe for all road users. These include:
· South African Police Service (SAPS)
· Provincial Traffic Services
· South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL)
· The City of Cape Town’s enforcement agencies
· Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)
In addition to these agencies, they will also be working with community interest groups and road users.
Of the 26km that that is due for an upgrade in terms of security, nine kilometres is under the jurisdiction of the Western Cape Government, while 17km is the responsibility of SANRAL.
Dangers on the road
There are a number of reasons for stationary vehicles along of the N2 highway, according to Western Cape Government. Drivers tend to run out of petrol, experience mechanical failures, pull over to use a cell phone, or stop to drop off goods or people. Flat tyres is also one of the leading reasons why drivers are forced off the highway.
In the past week, these incidents of stationary vehicles accounted for 204 of the 227 incidents reported on this stretch of highway.
The safety upgrades
A number of safety measures have been introduced to reduce crime and increase safety for road users. One of these is an increased police presence. There will now be law enforcement officials from several different agencies on the N2 highway 24/7.
The Western Cape Government revealed that there will be at least 11 vehicles and 16 officers on the road between 06:00 and 20:00. Between 20:00 and 23:30 there will be 13 vehicles and 21 officers, and there will be 12 vehicles and 20 officers between 23:30 and 06:00.
“In addition, senior personnel are being deployed at the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) around the clock to coordinate operations,” revealed Western Cape Government.
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