Ndebele goes full throttle

Monday, December 28, 2009

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has warned that motorists who break the law "will be caught and face the full might of the law".

This comes as the death toll on the country's roads climbs over 800 since the beginning of the festive season. "Roads deaths are not accidents, but are avoidable and deadly incidents," Ndebele said.

The Department of Transport's preliminary reports say 840 deaths in 654 crashes - 218 drivers, 327 passengers and 295 pedestrians - have been recorded since the beginning of December.

The department said the Festive Season Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign has seen thousands of motorists being fined and arrested over the Christmas weekend.

From Christmas Eve to the early hours of Sunday 126 drunk drivers were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal with Pietermaritzburg accounting for 50 of the arrests.Since the beginning of December, 583 drunk drivers have been arrested in the province.

More than 500 000 vehicles and drivers have been stopped and checked as part of the festive season road safety campaign. Over 3 000 drunk drivers were arrested while about 2000 vehicles, including 1000 buses and taxis, were declared unroadworthy.

Over 280 000 motorists were fined for speeding while more than 200 others were arrested for reckless and negligent driving. Seatbelt offenders were also fine accordingly.

"The thousands of arrests and fines since December 1, as part of the Campaign, is a warning to other motorists that if your commit any traffic offence you will be caught and will face the full might of the law," said Ndebele.

He said as of next year, with the introduction of the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) and the Points Demerit System, motorists who disregard the law will not only face arrest or fines but will also forfeit their driving licences.