Traffic authorities mean business this Easter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Pretoria - Traffic officials will be out in full force across the country to ensure that the high accident rate normally associated with the Easter long Weekend is minimised.

And, the transport department has warned that those who commit any offence will face the consequences of their actions.

"This Easter, we want to make sure that no innocent blood is spilt. To this end, the Transport Family is going all out to save lives on our roads. You will find members of the Transport Family on roads all around the country.

"We call on all citizens to join us because together we can put an end to this carnage on our roads," said Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele.

With thousands of South Africans expected to make their way to various holiday destinations, Ndebele called on motorists to obey the rules of the road.

Earlier today, more than 1 600 vehicles per hour were recorded at the Mooi River Toll, 1 100 vehicles were recorded at the Tugela Toll, 675 vehicles at the Wilge Toll, 1 085 vehicles at the Dehoek toll and 1 800 vehicles at the Marianhill Toll.

"As government, we are strengthening our fight to make our roads safe. We are calling upon all South Africans to join us in this fight for safer roads by simply obeying all road rules, making the safety of other road users a priority and putting ubuntu into action on our roads. Responsible citizens do not need to be policed all the time," he said.

From 6.30 this morning, Minister Ndebele was at the Traffic Help Centre on the N1 at Midrand in Gauteng, where he joined law enforcement agencies and emergency services monitoring traffic on the N1 towards Polokwane. Traffic volumes on this stretch of road will increase significantly as millions of people head for the annual pilgrimage to Moria City in Polokwane.

As part of the department's National Rolling Enforcement Plan, on Wednesday more than 20 commuter buses and 40 mini-bus taxis that were found to be unroadworthy were discontinued from operating in Gauteng.

This brings to more than 1 000 the number of unroadworthy vehicles removed from the country's roads since 1 March 2010.

Minister Ndebele said dedicated law enforcement operations this weekend would target public transport vehicles and drivers, particularly buses and taxis.

"Together with the labour movement, we call upon public transport operators to ensure that their drivers are given adequate time to rest before they embark on a journey. We cannot put the lives of innocent drivers and commuters at unnecessary risk."

As of today, the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences (AARTO) comes into effect for the Johannesburg and Tshwane Metro Police Departments.