Since its launch in May, steady progress is being made by The Pothole Patrol project, with over 2 500 potholes filled.
Commenting on the journey so far, Anneli Retief, Head of Dialdirect says: “We are pleased with the progress and difference made to date, but road conditions are a lot worse than we thought. We are repairing much bigger, deeper and more severe crevices and holes that occur as a result of digging during road construction or for creating a passage for the laying of pipes and fibre cables. These are not classified as potholes but rather, road defects or deep trenches requiring reinstatement.”
“If you combine the traditional, defined size of a pothole with the road defects and deep trenches, The Pothole Patrol has repaired the equivalent of 10 000 road defects to date, the equivalent of one rugby field,” says Anton Ossip, Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Insure.
“The Pothole Patrol is committed to repairing as many potholes as it can – typically at an impressive rate of 600 defects per week and is gearing up to be able to repair even more,” he adds.
So, what makes potholes so prolific? The answer lies in the way in which they are formed.
“A pothole is depression or a hollow in a road surface. They form when moisture or water seeps below the surface of the road and dislodges the base layer. As vehicles drive over them, more of the road surface chips away and the holes expand. The bigger and deeper they become, the more dangerous they are, causing damage to vehicles and sometimes accidents,” says Retief
And just because you emerge from the pothole without a flat tyre, don’t assume that there is nothing wrong with your car. There could be future problems with your alignment or suspension.
“Watch out for the tell-tale signs - your car pulling to one side of the road while driving or your car bouncing excessively on a smooth road. The best way to avoid any of these problems is to simply steer clear of the pothole altogether, which is easier said than done although not impossible,” says Retief.
By adhering to the tips below, you can save yourself thousands of rands of damage to your vehicle:
“At the moment, The Pothole Patrol is working its magic in the City of Joburg on main arterial routes and roads on which vehicles typically drive at a high speed. The Pothole Patrol’s reporting functionality is in development and will be launched soon,” says Ossip.