South Africa

Volunteers play a key role in helping ER teams during peak traffic season

Refresh your focus and commitment to road safety this summer holiday

Deployment of emergency and medical services are heightened during peak traffic periods along the N3 Toll Route from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal.
Deployment of emergency and medical services are heightened during peak traffic periods along the N3 Toll Route from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: Supplied/N3TC

Higher traffic volumes during peak traffic periods demand greater road safety awareness, active policing and more emergency services. N3 Toll Concession (N3TC), together with its partners in road safety, law enforcement, emergency and medical services, are ready to assist road users.

Visible policing and the deployment of emergency and medical services are heightened during peak traffic periods along the N3 Toll Route from Gauteng, through Mpumalanga to the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal. 

During this peak traffic season numerous volunteer paramedics and rescue workers will once again assist N3TC with emergencies that may arise as traffic volumes and demands for roadside - and crash - assistance spike.

“Volunteers play a key role to help make the N3 Toll Route safer for all, whether they offer medical, rescue, vehicle breakdown or technical support services. Without these ‘heroes of the N3’ it would be impossible to render support everywhere it may be needed,” says Praveen Sunderlall, manager of the N3TC Road Incident Management Systems. 

N3TC's 'emergency heroes'.
N3TC's 'emergency heroes'.
Image: Supplied/N3TC

N3TC’s route patrol teams, emergency medical and rescue services, including fire departments, state and private ambulance services, the SA Police Service, provincial and municipal traffic officers, and volunteers will be stationed at key strategic points along the route to provide quick assistance in the event of any emergencies.

Aero-medical support teams will, where possible, provide additional back-up if needed, to paramedic teams on the ground. 

Community Medical Services (CMS) has been providing essential rescue services for more than 35 years on Van Reenen’s Pass – a winding section of the N3 Toll Route linking the Free State to KwaZulu-Natal. 

“We have come to rely heavily on these volunteers to assist our emergency teams on the N3 Toll Route to improve road safety. These highly skilled and experienced individuals assist at crash scenes; respond to various emergencies from fighting fires to freeing trapped crash victims; and assist communities along the route with anything from feeding schemes to basic healthcare services. 

Says the CMS founder Philip Hull: “Our operation at Van Reenen is probably the longest-standing community project of its kind in SA. It is an honour to have the support of exceptional individuals who freely give their time and expertise. I have the utmost admiration for every member of this team. Knowing that we have treated and assisted hundreds, if not thousands, of people and have saved many, many lives makes every sacrifice worthwhile.” 

Emergency services rely heavily on volunteers to assist emergency teams on the N3 Toll Route.
Emergency services rely heavily on volunteers to assist emergency teams on the N3 Toll Route.
Image: Supplied/N3TC

Multi-disciplinary and intersectoral teams will be on duty at various points along the N3 corridor during December to perform regular driver fitness and vehicle roadworthiness tests as well as to ensure public transport and dangerous goods compliance. Road users can expect various traffic checkpoints along the route.

These checkpoints are specifically implemented to enhance road safety and include drug and alcohol screening. Law enforcement officers have indicated that they will also place an emphasis on strategic speed-enforcement programmes. 

Furthermore, road users can expect active seatbelt enforcement. “In numerous countries around the world, including SA, it has been proven that a fastened seatbelt is one of the simplest measures to help decrease road fatalities,” says Sunderlall. “There really is no compelling reason for drivers and their passengers not to be strapped in.”    

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This article was paid for by the N3 Toll Concession.

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