Call for responsible driver behaviour

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Motorists have been warned against violating traffic laws this Easter weekend as law enforcement officials intensify their operations to ensure the country’s roads are safe.

“Roadblocks will be staged on all major routes and within residential areas to address deviant behaviours by those who think that long weekends are a license to break the rules of the road and undermine our national effort to make our road safe,” Minister of Transport Sindisiwe Chikunga said.

Traffic volumes are expected to start increasing on Thursday, 28 March, from about 10:00 and will stay high until about midnight.

“On Friday, 29 March, traffic volumes will start increasing early in the morning and will return to normal after 14:00. Return traffic will commence with worshippers from Moria City and other places of worship on Sunday, 31 March.

“All other main routes are expected to be extremely busy throughout Monday, 01 April. We appeal for motorists to stagger their traveling,” Chikunga said.

Addressing the 2024 Easter Road Safety Campaign in Mpumalanga the Minister said government has set a target to reduce road fatalities by 15% this Easter.

“We have mapped the routes, sharpened our strategies, and prepared our battle plan. With Gauteng being home to 40% of South Africa’s vehicle population, we expect a substantial number of motorists to leave Gauteng to different holiday destinations.

“The N1 towards Polokwane, especially the road to Moria City in Limpopo and to Beit Bridge, will be heavily policed. The N3 to the coastal city of Durban and N1 to the Free State, Western Cape, particularly Cape Town to Eastern Cape will be no exception.

“Here in Mpumalanga, on the N4 we expect heavy traffic especially on stretches leading to border gates and around toll gates,” the Minister said.

She called on the religious community, especially those that will be travelling to different places of pilgrimage, to ensure that the busses and taxis they hire are roadworthy and fit to be on the roads.

“Attention must be paid to ensure that the bus has two drivers who will relieve each other during the trips to avoid fatigue. Vehicle must also have proper permits that allow them to travel outside of their normal routes. This will help to avoid conflict with other operators and inconvenience to passengers when the vehicles are stopped by law enforcement authorities,” the Minister said.

She said government is committed to improving performance on road safety.

This endeavour will be achieved by integrating law enforcement efforts and avoiding fragmentation, improving community understanding of factors behind road carnages and the role they can play to reduce as well as placing road safety on the national agenda.

“We are warning those who are a law unto themselves to obey traffic rules or else they will face the full might of the law. The message is simply that if you are reckless and irresponsible you will be locked up in jail, for in our view you are danger to society… if you drive drunk, if you drive at excessive speed, you drive a vehicle without number plates, you drive without a driver’s licence,” the Minister said. –