Errant drivers should get ready to rumble on the roads

KwaZulu-Natal drivers are in for a rumble on the roads.

The South African National Roads Agency said on Monday that it has authorised rumble strips to be painted on the shoulder lines and between undivided dual carriageways on the N2 and N3 around Durban in an attempt to reduce run-off-road collisions.

The rumble strips‚ or sleeper lines as they are known‚ are little balls of plastic paint dropped onto the road surface which will cause an audible vibration and rumbling sound on contact with a car tyre. This alerts the driver that they are driving off the road or onto incoming traffic.

“We welcome this move‚ they (rumble strips) do help particularly to warn the driver when they are coming into oncoming traffic‚” said Road Traffic Management spokesman Simon Zwane. Since using them in the 1980s‚ New Zealand has reported an 80% drop in run-off-road crashes.

Sanral Eastern Region project manager Hugh Brooks said that the strips had proven successful in Gauteng and would be used in Durban because of the high volumes of traffic.

“(They will be installed on) the N2 north of KwaDukuza where we have the four-lane undivided carriageway configuration. We will also be using it on the N2 near Port Shepstone to try and address some safety concerns‚” said Brooks.

They will also be installed on the N1 through the Free State.

Sanral said that it was updating its road-marking policy which would outline where and when the rumble strips would be applied. “This policy should be completed within the next few months but will only be affected in future line-marking contracts a year to two years from now‚” said Brooks. 

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