Over the recent Easter period road traffic volumes on Van Reenen's pass, the N3 and the N4 reached up to 3000 cars per lane, per hour. Taken in the context that South African roads are designed to carry 750 vehicles per lane, per hour this is a staggering amount. Once the traffic volume hits 750 cars or more per lane, per hour, congestion rises exponentially and traffic slows dramatically, increasing the likelihood of road accidents.
Solutions come from innovative forward thinking, such as the introduction of the two wheel patrols in the form of the AA motorbike fleet. The two wheel patrols cut down dramatically on response times and vastly improve accessibility to stranded members in rush hour traffic. The AA motorbike fleet can handle anything from a tyre change, stand by you, petrol refill, jumpstart, mechanical and electrical problems, locksmith services and a fast response unit.
"We have run a pilot that proves the effectiveness of using two wheels in congested traffic and our record response time has seen us with happier, safer members," says the AASA.
On a three lane highway, such as Ben Schoeman, saturation point would be reached at 2250 cars. Daily traffic volumes on Ben Schoeman are estimated at 180 000 trips per day in both directions. This means that we have 90 000 trips one way per day which gives us a grand total of 3750 trips per hour, giving us 1250 cars per lane, per hour which is way over the allocated 750 cars per lane.
There is huge pressure on our roads infrastructure with a drive to build more lanes to handle the traffic volumes that we currently see. However, with the growth of infrastructure we see a further increase in the number of cars on the roads and traffic volumes do not seem to go down.
Solutions lie in the development of public transport and an increasing trend for motorists to opt for two wheeled transport, but South Africans are slow to take either option and leave the comfort of their vehicles at home.
Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1126