In an effort to prevent the further unnecessary loss of lives, vandal-proof fences are being erected at additional vulnerable sections of the N3 and N2 in KwaZulu-Natal.
Pedestrians are hit by vehicles when they attempt to cross freeways instead of using overhead bridges in the vicinity.
The South African National Roads Agency SOC Limited (SANRAL) is presently erecting fencing between Chota Motala Bridge and Chatterton Rd on the N3 Pietermaritzburg Bypass.
Fencing is also being erected over a two-kilometre section of the N3 at Cliffdale and a two-kilometre section of the N2 at Kwa Mashu.
SANRAL has previously erected fences on the N3 in the vicinity of the Mariannhill Toll Plaza to prevent hawkers from gaining access to the toll.
Fences have also been erected on the N3 Pietermaritzburg Bypass in the median between Chota Motala Bridge and Ohrtmann Road; and in the median opposite the BP Oasis service station at Cato Ridge.
Bruno Cullen, SANRAL Eastern Region project manager, said pedestrians vandalised the fencing material that had previously been used along certain sections to prevent them from crossing the busy highway.
“We have experimented with vandal-proof fences which have so far proven to be most effective in preventing people from crossing and causing an unsafe environment.”
The fencing which stands at almost 2,5 metres high is manufactured from galvanized pressed high-density mesh panels with anti-cut dimensions with galvanised spikes bolted along the top. It is not possible to climb this type of fence and is also difficult to cut.
Cullen said it is a well-known fact that approximately 40% of all deaths on South African roads are pedestrians.
“Pedestrians are the most vulnerable group of all road users and road safety is an important priority for SANRAL.
“We invite the cooperation of pedestrians to ensure lives are not placed at jeopardy through the deliberate and willful destruction of the fencing,” said Cullen, adding while walking to a bridge may take a while longer, it could mean the difference between life and death.