Overloading a safety concern

The overloaded vehicle on the photo was recently noticed and photographed on the old Vaalwater Road by a reader

On the website www.arivealive.co.za, the following is said about vehicle overloading and road safety:
 Overloading has been recognized to be both a safety concern as well as a cost concern, and the National Department of Transport has incorporated a campaign against overloading in its Road to Safety strategy.
 Economic growth demands an adequate transport infrastructure. Overloaded vehicles, especially freight vehicles, are destroying our roads, impacting negatively on economic growth – the damage caused grows exponentially as the load increases. Damage to roads as a result of overloading leads to higher maintenance and repair costs and shortens the life of a road which in turn places an additional burden on the state as well as law-abiding road users who ultimately carry the costs of careless and inconsiderate overloading. If the problem of overloading is not controlled, this cost has to be carried by the road user, which will require significant increases in road user charges such as the fuel levy, vehicles license fees, and overloading fees to mention just a few. Overloading is a safety hazard that leads to unnecessary loss of life, and also the rapid deterioration of our roads, resulting in increased maintenance and transportation costs.
The Risks to Road Safety posted by Overloading
Overloaded vehicles threaten road safety and are contributing tomany of the fatal accidents on our roads. The overloaded vehicle will not only put the driver at risk but also passengers and other road users.
Overloading a vehicle will pose the following risks:
The vehicle will be less stable, difficult to steer and take longer to stop. Vehicles react differently when the maximum weights which they are designed to carry are exceeded.
 Overloaded vehicles can cause the tyres to overheat and wear rapidly which increases the chance of premature, dangerous and expensive failure or blow-outs.
 The driver’s control and operating space in the overloaded vehicle is diminished, escalating the chances of an accident.
 The overloaded vehicle cannot accelerate as normal – making it difficult to overtake .
 At night, the headlights of an overloaded vehicle will tilt up, blinding oncoming drivers to possible debris or obstructions on the roadway.
 Brakes have to work harder due to ‘the riding of brakes’ and because the vehicle is heavier due to overloading. Brakes overheat and lose their effectiveness to stop the car.
 With overloading, seat belts are often not used as the aim is to pack in as many persons as possible into the vehicle.
 The whole suspension system comes under stress and, over time, the weakest point can give way.
 By overloading your vehicle you will incur higher maintenance costs to the vehicle – tyres, brakes, shock absorbers and higher fuel consumption.
 Insurance cover on overloaded vehicles may be void as overloading is illegal.

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