Wet weather causes havoc on Jo'burg roads

Johannesburg Metro Police on Friday urged motorists to be cautious as the rain-hit city has seen a recent increase in road accidents.

“We urge motorists to drive with caution, reduce their travelling speed, drive with a safe following distance and their headlights on,” said Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar.

He said while exact numbers of accidents on Thursday were not yet available: “In the Johannesburg area there were more than average because of vehicles skidding at intersections.”

On Wednesday metro police responded to 98 weather-related accidents in Johannesburg. All were minor with no deaths reported.

On Friday metro officers had been sent to main roads, freeways and areas where traffic lights were broken.

Lights were out at Ontdekkers and Hendrik Potgieter roads.

Minnaar also said motorists should be especially careful on Witkoppen Road in Fourways and Rivonia Road in Sunninghill where rain was not draining away quickly enough.

Netcare 911 paramedics said between Wednesday and Thursday morning they had attended to 51 accidents in Gauteng.

Spokesperson Nick Dollman said during this time emergency vehicles had been sent to 36 motor vehicle accidents and five pedestrian collisions in Johannesburg; as well as nine car accidents and one pedestrian collision in Pretoria.

“Although moderate, these are not exceptionally high figures and we hope that all motorists are doing their bit to ensure that they travel responsibly.”

Dollman said children should not be allowed to play under bridges or in or near storm water drains in case of flood flashing.

He also said motorists should approach bridges and low-lying crossings with caution, as many might be under water and unsafe to cross.

On Thursday, a father and his eight-year-old daughter were rescued when their Land Rover was swept away by strong currents while travelling on a low-lying bridge crossing the Jukskei River in Nooitgedacht.—Sapa

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