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‘Take bumps away before someone dies’

22 January 2014
Yoliswa Sobuwa

THE family of an elderly Port Elizabeth woman who nearly lost her life when her car crashed into the back of a BMW that had stopped suddenly at the controversial rubber speed bumps in Walmer Boulevard on Sunday wants the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to have them removed before they claim a life.

Marlene Ferreira, 73, from Humewood, sustained serious injuries and is in the ICU at St George’s Hospital.

Her concerned daughter, Marlize Rheeder, 49, said: “Those speed bumps are terrible. The municipality should move them and replace them with normal speed bumps with visible warning signs. We are worried about our mother’s health and we are praying for her recovery.”

Ferreira’s family has been inundated with calls from friends and family expressing their anger and concern about the speed bumps.

Rheeder said she started to worry about her mother on Sunday when she did not arrive at her Lorraine home when expected.

“I became worried when she did not pitch. I was shocked when I received a call from my sister to say our mom was involved in an accident after she drove into a BMW car.

“She is very seriously injured and in the ICU at St George’s Hospital. She has severe chest pains, a bruised heart, damaged lungs, multiple fractured ribs and her arm will need plastic surgery.”

The bumps, that are 6cm high and affixed to the road with steel bolts, hit the headlines and social media sites when they were installed in October last year.

Residents in the South End area and motorists complained there were no road signs warning about them.

Then the manufacturers reported the bumps installed were normally used for shopping centres, townhouse complexes, car parks, driveways of schools, factories, business parks and residential estates.

They said they were not usually used for city roads. Deborah Ferrant, a nursing sister who drives on Walmer Boulevard, said: “These bumps in Walmer Boulevard need serious intervention from the council.

“The public must be made aware of the seriousness of these humps as many accidents have happened.

“I saw the small warning signs which say one needs to drive 30km/h, which is impossible.

“At night motorists cannot see the humps. If you do not virtually stop, you mount the hump and can do serious damage to your car.

“Often one can see motor car parts lying in the road.

“The municipality should do something before a life is claimed,” she said.

NMBM spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the 6cm rubber bumps complied with the standard traffic calming measures.

“To date, we have not received complaints about the humps, except for the complaints we have seen in The Herald and other newspapers,” Mniki said.

Ferreira’s car crashed into the back of a motorist car driven by a Cape Town motorist. The motorist, whose identity is not known, claimed he braked suddenly when he saw the bumps.



Reader’s Comments

Report Abuse Author: Noddy Date: 24 January 2014 21:23

The National Guidance for Traffic Calming (CR-96/036) and Road Classification Access Management Manual (TRH 26) states the following: 3.3 Principles of Evaluating Traffic Calming The principle philosophy in evaluating potential traffic calming is to eliminate hazards on minor roads and not later alter traffic characteristics on main roads. Potential traffic calming should be evaluated and prioritized using the following principals: First Order Priorities: 1. No traffic calming measures are to be imposed on roads classified as Classes 1, 2 or 3. 2. Traffic calming measures should not be considered: – on an ad hoc basis – in addressing other social problems – where it will be detrimental to road safety – where other traffic engineering or alternative procedures could address the problem – on public transport routes Walmer Boulevard is a main arterial road and falls in the class 1 to 3 description. This means that the speed humps is in contravention of various points as per legislation.

Report Abuse Author: alvonhumb Date: 22 January 2014 17:01

So Mthubanzi Mniki, you are categorically stating that not a single complaint has been received by NMBM? And the Municipality can’t be bothered to look into the problem that was exposed a long way back by press articles? Now that’s really pro-active public service. Just hope the courts see it the same way when someone does die or is permanently maimed as a result of the installation of these road hazards and lack of proper warning. But then, it probably doesn’t matter: any financial implications will be met by ratepayers’ cash – not something that the ANC crony-led municipality has ever been bothered about and there’s plenty to go around. (I’d check out the statement on no complaints before swearing to it under oath though).

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Contractor Paul Karolus (left) and Eric Matabielie (right) remove  one row of controversial traffic calming humps in Walmer Boulevard.  Photo: Mike Holmes 24/10/13
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