Truck drivers travelling from Ceres to Wellington have been warned not to use the R301 which traverses through the Bains Kloof Pass following yet another incident where an articulated truck got stuck on the pass and damaged the side walls on Monday, January 15.
The articulated truck, entering from Wolseley’s side, got stuck in the pass, causing damage and traffic disruption.
This happened despite warnings about the height restrictions due to low cliffs, as the pass is unsuitable for vehicles over 3.68 metres tall.
The driver, having ignored the warning signs and overhead bars, realized too late that the route was impassable.
While attempting to reverse towards Wolseley, the truck damaged a stone sidewall of the pass.
This resulted in the pass being closed for several hours as traffic authorities managed the situation.
This incident is part of a recurring problem in the area, with trucks frequently traversing the pass illegally, often leading to closures and extensive salvage operations.
Local residents and conservationists in Bains Kloof and Wellington have long been in dispute with authorities over ineffective measures to curb such incidents.
Moreover, the repetitive passage of heavy vehicles poses a threat to the structural integrity of this historic pass, which was not designed to accommodate such loads.
When apprehended, drivers often blame their navigation errors on Google Maps, which sometimes suggests the pass as a shortcut.
This has led to calls for provincial authorities to work with Google Maps to flag Bains Kloof Pass as unsuitable for heavy trucks.
The community emphasizes that reliance on digital navigation doesn’t excuse ignoring physical warning signs and safety measures in place to prevent such occurrences.
Admin Slim warned, “Truckers who are using GPS for directions, please DON’T IGNORE SIGNS that restricts the use of Bains Kloof Pass on R301 by trucks. Many have made the mistake only to end up going viral on social media.”
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