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At last, traffic officers work 24/7 monitoring Town hill

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Pietermaritzburg – Town Hill will have a 24-hour law enforcement presence from late tomorrow night, the Road Traffic Inspectorate said.

Spokeswoman Zinhle Mngomezulu said its regional commander had arranged for RTI staff from other stations to ensure that it happens.

The notorious hill on the N3 outside Pietermaritzburg has two compulsory stops for trucks.

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Mngomezulu said that until 10pm tomorrow, law enforcement officers would not have been on a 24-hour shift but only on 24-hour standby.

Historically, this section of the road has been infamous for serious accidents. A recent spate seems to coincide with the extensive road works and reckless driving on the part of motorists, including truckers.

Read also: Out of control truck filmed crashing on N3 at Townhill outside Pietermaritzburg

Last week a video went viral of a coal truck careering down the hill and crashing, its brakes smoking.

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This came after nearly three accident-free weeks on Town Hill following an horrendous month of June on the stretch of road.

Mngomezulu reiterated that road safety was a shared responsibility.

“If drivers don’t change their attitude, not just when driving at Town Hill but when driving in general, we are going to have accidents on the roads,” she said.

“We are not expecting drivers to behave only when they see police. They must make it a habit to obey the rules of the road.”

Meanwhile, criticism of Sanral, the South African National Roads Agency ‒ the parastatal responsible for the management, maintenance and development of national roads ‒ has included an apparent dearth of engineering expertise on its board.

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“The nearest the current board comes to having appropriate engineering expertise appears to be a member who headed the KwaZulu-Natal roads department during the period when, according to a Council for Scientific and Industrial Research report, provincial roads gained the unenviable reputation of being the worst in the country,” read a letter to the editor in Business Day from a Malcolm Mitchell in Hillcrest.

“This person is not a registered professional civil engineer.”

Sanral’s eastern regional manager Dumisani Nkabinde said the board “is capable and has served with distinction”.

“The board members have maintained good corporate governance at Sanral and they will continue to lead with excellence until the conclusion of their term.”
– The Independent on Saturday

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