Preliminary festive season report expected tomorrow

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi is expected to release the preliminary 2017/18 festive season road safety report on Monday.

The Transport Department adopted a no nonsense approach on road safety and conducted roadblocks throughout the country during the festive season. High visibility of uniformed traffic officials, clearly marked vehicles and mobile testing stations were the order of the day.

The Minister is expected to outline whether the approach yielded results when he releases his report.

During a briefing in preparation for the festive season campaign last year, Minister Maswanganyi said although road safety is a 365-day business, the department doubles-up its efforts during the festive.

Law enforcement operations targeted enforcement around drunken driving, speeding, wearing seatbelts, use of cellphones while driving and un-roadworthy vehicles.

According to the department, minibus vehicles and buses account for about 10 percent of motor vehicles that get involved in fatal crashes on South African roads. However, the death toll from these vehicles is often high because of the number of people that they carry.

With this in mind, public transport vehicles were placed on high scrutiny as officials checked documentation and road worthiness.

Motorists were also not spared, as a number of mobile testing stations were placed at strategic areas to assess the roadworthiness of vehicles.

The department had said it would clampdown on a trend it had noticed, where number plates are removed from motor vehicles to evade speed detection.

This is against the National Road Traffic Act regulation 35, which requires that number plates be affixed “in a manner that is not easily detachable” and “in such a manner that each letter and figure thereon is clearly legible”. 

National routes such as the N1, N2, N3 and N4 that experience an influx of traffic as holidaymakers travel to various destinations were the target of traffic officials.

The National Traffic Police, located within the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), worked in partnership with provincial and municipal traffic authorities and the South African Police Service to reduce and where possible eliminate the risk of crashes on the roads. –