Joburg gears up for Easter road safety drive

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pretoria - Johannesburg metro police officers will be out in full force during the coming Easter period to promote road safety and act decisively against offenders who place the lives of other road users in danger.

Chief of the JMPD, Chris Ngcobo, said they will use Operation Safer Easter to zone in speed and reckless driving, unroadworthy vehicles, and those who drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances.

Ngcobo said the Easter Weekend usually brought an increase in the number of vehicles on the city's roads. "This is also a period for sharpened law enforcement in support of the National Safety Campaign."

JMPD officers will focus on the major highways crossing Johannesburg that carry the bulk of traffic volumes - the N1 to Limpopo and the N3 route to Durban. However, strategic road blocks will also be placed on other City streets to ensure compliance with national and local laws and regulations.

"This is primarily a safety campaign with the objective to keep the accident rate as low as possible and prevent deaths and injuries to drivers, passengers and pedestrians," Ngcobo said.

"There is an [incentive] for the Johannesburg community to become more responsible in their road behavior. We want to encourage this spirit of cooperation - but also warn the remaining offenders that we will adopt a zero tolerance approach."

Ngcobo said excessive speed remained a primary factor in most serious accidents. In addition to speed traps, the JMPD's high speed unit will also be patrolling the highways to apprehend offenders. 

Motorist that are travelling in excess of 40 km above the speed limit will be placed in holding cells and will face the full might of the law. 

Breathalyzer tests will be conducted at all road blocks. Drivers who exceed the legal limit of 0.24 milligrams per 1 000 milliltres of breath will be taken to one of three Alcohol Evidence Centres for more sophisticated tests through the Drager Breathalyzer unit. 

The Drager provides valid evidence in court. Tests are conducted at centres in Soweto, Randburg and the Johannesburg CBD. 

JMPD officers will also inspect values for roadworthiness and check for valid licenses and transport documents. The licenses of unroadworthy vehicles will be confiscated and the owner will be required to fix the vehicle and take it to a testing station before it can be driven on the road again.

In the Johannesburg CBD, JMPD officers will focus on motorists who do not wear seatbelts or talk on mobile phones. They will also target jaywalkers who restrict the free-flow of traffic. 

"With the cooperation of the public, we can make this the safest Easter period yet experienced in Johannesburg," said Ngcobo. - BuaNews