01 Apr Be aware of roaming animals
With a large portion of the N4 Toll Route between Tshwane and Mozambique running parallel to farmlands and highly-populated rural areas, there is always a risk of livestock or pets roaming onto the road. Furthermore, with winter approaching, the problem is expected to escalate as livestock move closer to the road reserve in search of better grazing ground. This problem concerns TRAC immensely as it has a direct impact on road safety.
Although roaming animals are solely the responsibility of their owners, it is in TRAC’s interest to keep the N4 Toll Route animal-free as safety on our road is our primary concern. However, we need assistance and support from communities along the route to address the issue effectively.
Despite our efforts to resolve the problem through various methods – such as erecting fences and barriers to keep animals off the road – the problem persists. This is attributed largely to two factors – the lack of support from community members who allow their animals to roam free and the ongoing theft of the barriers we put up.
In relation to livestock and pets, we appeal to owners to do their part in keeping their animals off the road by confining them in enclosed areas. According to law the onus to prevent livestock or pets from straying falls on the animal owner. If damage is caused by an animal straying onto a public road the animal owner can be held liable.
We further urge community members to report the theft of our infrastructure to TRAC’s Whistle Blower Hotline on 082 900 2447. Callers remain anonymous and could be rewarded up to R10 000 for information that leads to the recovery of our infrastructure and/or legal action.
We also urge road users to be wary when driving on our route, by observing the following road safety regulations and tips:
- Always obey the speed limit and wear safety belts;
- Take special care near animal crossing warning signs;
- Be vigilant and alert. Get into the habit of scanning the roadside as you drive;
- Be especially cautious at night;
- If you see one animal, expect that there are others nearby;
- If you see an animal near the road and think you have time to avoid hitting it, reduce your speed, tap your brakes and sound your hooter to warn other drivers;
- If an animal is in your path, brake firmly but do not swerve to avoid it. Sound your horn in a series of short bursts to frighten it away. Provided you can slow down with control, steer around the animal – watch out for oncoming traffic – but stay on the road if possible;
- If a collision seems inevitable, don’t swerve to avoid the animal; your risk of injury may be greater if you do.
Road users are also urged to play their part in combatting this problem, by reporting stray animals to the TRAC 24-hour Helpdesk on 0800 87 22 64 or 082 881 4444.
Solange Soares Nicholson
Tel: +2713 755 3316 (switchboard)
Mobile: +2776 021 2524 (cell)