Route Update - April 2012
Easter holiday 2012
High traffic volumes expected on Easter Monday as the long weekend and inland school holidays come to an end at the same time
Trans African Concessions (TRAC), the road concessionaire managing the N4 toll route between Pretoria and Mozambique, warns road users to carefully plan their journeys this Easter weekend and to expect routes to be very busy. “We appeal to motorists to adopt a positive and patient frame of mind at the outset of their journeys,” says Arthur Coy, CEO of the company.
TRAC N4 Easter Rescue and Road Safety drive at Shell Ultra City near Middelburg
The Easter rescue project has become synonymous with the he N4 toll route over the last six years. This mammoth road safety drive aims to reduce and prevent accidents and fatalities on the N4 toll route and some of its arterial roads over the Easter long weekend. As main sponsor of the campaign, TRAC relies heavily on the support of its partners and the emergency services in the region to make the project a success and save lives.
This year, partners PG Glass, Shell, Anglo American, Shanduka Coal, Columbus Stainless Steel and Optimum Coal have contributed to host emergency services at the Ultra City base camp on 5 and 6 April, and again on 9 April. Apart from high visibility, another major benefit is that response times to accidents or emergencies are much faster.
SAPS highway patrol, provincial and municipal traffic departments, private and public ambulance services, fire, medical-, accident response and reaction teams will operate from the temporary base.
Jacaranda FM will broadcast from Ultra City on Thursday, 5 April and there will also be a number of live radio crossings to Ligwalagwala FM. Local community radio stations will help to keep road safety top of mind on Monday, 09 April.
TRAC rescue helicopter and joint operational centre at Ultra City
The TRAC emergency helicopter, with an advanced life support paramedic on board, is on standby at the Shell Ultra City on peak days to respond to accident scenes. TRAC’s emergency helpdesk, route patrol, roadside assistance and accident response teams will also be based here to provide further support.
The Middelburg Plaza is the busiest plaza on the route and the road between eMalahleni/Witbank and Belfast are considered a high traffic zone.
No routine maintenance work will take place during the peak Easter period and there will be no lane restrictions along the route (South Africa and Mozambique). Lane restrictions and/or maintenance work will only be performed during emergencies.
Wonderfontein to Sunbury (N4/5X km 15.4 E and W)
Road marking is being done in this area and may not yet be complete by the start of the Easter weekend.
St Micheil’s near Dalmanutha (between Belfast and Machadodorp)
An underpass is being constructed (not by TRAC) at the new St Micheil’s golf estate development. Although no work is planned for the Easter period, caution may be required in this area.
Widening of Section 7X between Montrose and Nelspruit
No construction work will take place during the Easter weekend., but this is a construction site and caution is required.
Nelspruit Northern Ring Road
The Valencia link bridge is being constructed by WBHO. No delays are expected during the Easter weekend.
The regions along the N4 toll route are prone to adverse weather conditions – heavy rain and thick mist. Road users are warned to slow down in bad weather, switch headlights on and increase their following distance. Remain patient. Frustration and aggression cause accidents.
Expected peak traffic periods
Thursday, 05 April
Traffic starts picking up around 12:00 in both east- and westbound directions. Peak traffic is experienced between 16:00 and 18:00 with more than 2000 vehicles per hour passing the Middelburg toll plaza (now mostly eastbound).
Friday, 06 April
Traffic flow increases early (from 06:00) with a first peak experienced at the Middelburg Plaza at around 08:00. A second spike in traffic is experienced between 11:00 and 13:00 before it starts to drop sharply around 15:00.
Monday, 09 April
Traffic trends along the N4 show a gradual increase of returning traffic (westbound) from 12:00 with high volumes experienced between 16:00 and 18:00. Although traffic then starts tapering off, the route remains fairly busy until 22:00.
Road users are also warned that they are traveling directly west when returning to Gauteng. The setting sun (late afternoon) can have a blinding effect. Slow down when visibility is poor.
Top causes of accidents on the N4
1. Negligent driving (including overtaking, making u-turnsand driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances)
2. Losing control of the vehicle / loss of concentration
4. Tyre bursts
5. Vehicles in poor mechanical order (non-roadworthy)
The majority of accidents occur westbound between 06:00 and 18:00. During the first two months of 2012, the TRAC accident response and emergency teams were called out to 122 accidents (72 in South Africa and 50 in Mozambique). The majority (60) were single vehicle accidents. Eight of these accidents were fatal with 6 fatalities in SA and 2 in Mozambique.
Emergency contact numbers for TRAC N4
SA: 0800 8722 64 / +27 (0) 82 881 4444
Mozambique: +258 84 34 34 34 6 / +258 82 30 34 30 3