Authorities get tough ahead of festive season

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretoria - Law enforcement authorities were this weekend out in full force in an effort to make the country's roads safer ahead of the busy festive season.

Even the Transport Minister himself, Sibusiso Ndebele, rolled up his sleeves on Sunday and joined law enforcement officers during a roadblock at the Grasmere Toll Plaza on the N1 highway.

Ndebele personally stopped several motorists and requested drivers' licenses. He also distributed pamphlets warning motorist about the dangers of drinking and driving. Motorists were also presented with self-test breathalysers.

The minister said countries that have successfully implemented the use of breathalysers have decreased the occurrence of alcohol-related accidents.

More than 33 000 vehicles were stopped during the first of many roadblocks that will be carried out country-wide throughout the festive season. Authorities have said they hope to stop more than a million vehicles between December and January.

Around 14 000 people die on South African roads every year and about 90 percent of road crashes have been linked to a human error.