Media Release: Not worth speeding in the KNP
10 June 2003
Included in the KNP Protection Service’s list of hi-tech equipment are Ladar and other devices, which can accurately measure the speed a car drives before the driver has any knowledge that he has actually been tracked.
“I want to assure motorists that we are going to crack down on those elements who insist on speeding on the KNP’s road network,” says Protection Service head, Mr Prego Reddy, “we will adopt a zero-tolerance attitude and there are no excuses for speeding in the KNP.”
This has become necessary over time as drivers within the boundaries of the KNP constantly ignore repeated requests to stick to the speed limits, which are 50km/h on tar and 40km/h on dirt roads (unless otherwise indicated).
These low speed restrictions are there for a reason, says the Kruger National Park’s head of Conservation Services, Dr Freek Venter.
“There are many reasons for speed restrictions in a conservation area like the Kruger National Park, but possibly the most important is the safety of not only the motorist but also the various animals,” he said.
Reasons for speed restrictions:
- Most birds and mammals will be able to avoid an oncoming vehicle if it is driving slowly but if it is driving fast, they won’t be able to get out of the way in time.
- In many instances, the animal does not “see” the road as a potential hazard and will move in any direction if frightened. During the rutting season, an impala ram might not notice the potential hazards of an oncoming vehicle and will move towards females, even if they are on the other side of a road. If a motorist keeps to the designated speed, he or she might be able to avoid this animal.
- As a vehicle accelerates, so too does its road noise (or road rumble). This noise will often frighten or “spook” an animal and it will jump or dash away from the noise, often into the road. The slower the vehicle travels, the quieter it is and the less chance it will have of “spooking” animals.
- As a car increases speed, the driver’s attention moves way ahead of the vehicle. At high speed, the driver’s attention is quite far ahead and the driver will not be able to see small animals darting across the road or react in time.
- Lastly, but no less important, is the atmosphere of the bushveld, which is shattered when a speeding car rushes past. It is a known fact that less animals are found on the busier roads of the KNP because of the fact that motor vehicles drive slightly faster on these roads than the other tourism roads.
These new speed-measuring devices will be used on all roads within the boundaries of the KNP and harsh fines will be issued to anyone caught speeding, whether they are members of the public, staff members, contractorsor other people currently working in the KNP.
Media Relations Practitioner
Kruger National Park.
Tel: 013 735 4116; Cell: 082 908 2677
Public Relations and Communications Manager
Kruger National Park.
Tel: 013 735 4363; Cell: 082 807 3919