Ndebele's safety call for festive season

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pretoria - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has appealed to road users to exercise extreme caution on the roads as traffic volumes increase during the festive season.

"We want to reiterate that safety in all modes of transport (road, air, rail and sea) is a key priority of our government.

"Traffic volumes will increase this week with schools now closed for the holidays and we want to once again appeal to all road users to exercise extreme caution on the roads," Ndebele said.

The department said more than 300 drunk drivers were arrested in the Eastern Cape at the weekend while 170 were arrested last weekend. More than 220 drunk drivers have been arrested in KwaZulu-Natal since 1 December.

Preliminary figures show that 186 people (58 drivers, 75 passengers and 53 pedestrians) died on South African roads from 1 to 11 December 2009.

Among the highest speeds recorded this weekend was 232km/h on the N2 near Scottburgh in KwaZulu-Natal. The 33-year-old motorcyclist was released on R3000 bail.

Ndebele said law enforcement officials will intensify their operations on the roads and culprits will face the full might of the law.

"Law enforcement officers will stop and check no less than one million vehicles and drivers between December and January.

"Road safety is everybody's responsibility. We therefore call on all road users to join hands and reverse the trend of road deaths in South Africa by simply obeying all road rules," he said, adding that there will be zero tolerance for all offences.