Managing Overload Control more Effectively on the R46
Gone are the days of overloaded vehicles bypassing weighbridges by using the R46 between Gouda and Ceres as an escape route and getting away with it.
The introduction of roadside screenings this year by the Department of Transport and Public Works has yielded positive results. Fewer overloaded vehicles have been reported on this road.
At a roadside operation on 10 June 2015, the Department screened over 100 heavy vehicles. Thirteen trucks were found to be over the legal weight limit. Traffic inspectors escorted them to the Rawsonville weighbridge, some 48 km from the roaming point screening site on the R46. There, the vehicles were weighed again and the results recorded on the traffic management system.
Drivers were then told to rectify their loads to the legal limit before leaving the premises, and to ask their employers to send another truck to overload items onto another truck. Offenders were given fines of between R500 and R4 500. A driver was also arrested for exceeding the permissible maximum gross combination mass.
Provincial Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said roadside screenings will encourage heavy vehicle operators to bring their loads within legal limits and use the shortest routes rather than overloading and using back roads.
“Traffic inspectors can now be found on roads with weighbridges as well as roads that are far from weighbridges. This allows us to control overloading of heavy vehicles more effectively on high-risk escape routes,” said Africa.
Any road is designed to be able to carry vehicles of a certain weight. Careless and negligent overloading damages roads, leads to higher maintenance and repair costs, and shortens the life span of our roads. This places an unnecessary financial burden on the provincial government and reduces the amount of money available to meet other high-priority needs.
The Department is also planning the construction of the weighbridge in Gouda, which is expected to manage overload control more effectively on this route.
Byron la Hoe
Department of Transport and Public Works
Tel: 021 483 9813