The National, Friday, 27th May 2011
By ANGELINE KARIUS
THE ban imposed on trucks accessing the Poreporena Freeway is only a short-term plan until transport operators come up with alternate measures to address the problem, land transports first assistant secretary Nelson Lari said.
Lari said, in the meantime, heavily loaded trucks and semi-trailers “will be expected to use the Gerehu to Baruni, 2-Mile and Kilakila roads”.
“We are working in collaboration with the NCD traffic police, National Road Safety Council, Department of Transport and National Capital District Commission (NCDC) to make sure people are aware of the safety aspects of their vehicles, including public safety,” he said.
Lari also said trucks using the freeway should not carry more than 40 tonnes.
Deputy police commissioner and operations commander Fred Yakasa said the ban should be seen as an eye opener for trucking companies.
Yakasa said possible measures to improve public safety would certainly be taken.
The ban of heavy vehicles on the Poreporena Freeway is supported by the NCDC, city manager Leslie Alu said in a press statement.
“One option is to have a weigh station at the top of Burns Peak,” Alu said.
“Any vehicle carrying more than the recommended load shall be turned away.
“The recommended loading indicates that the braking system will have the capacity to stop the vehicle.
“Overloading may cause brake failure resulting in road accidents.
“A road safety audit conducted by NCDC indicated a number of defects some of which had been repaired.
“Heavy vehicles have since been most affected because of the slope or gradient of the road.
“The NCDC will now construct new concrete jersey barrier kerbs as an immediate measure.
“Our long-term option is the re-alignment of the black spot bend which we believe will greatly reduce the number of accidents.
“NCDC will continue to install road facilities to control and regulate traffic movements providing road safety at night as well as assess pedestrian safety.
“In future a comprehensive study could prove useful to identify overall crash patterns and opportunities for implementing mitigation measures.
“Poreporena is not a freeway because of the many roads accessing it,” the NCDC statement read.