Minister Dipuo Peters: Festive Season Message

Festive season is upon us.

This season calls upon all of us to be alert and circumspect when we use our roads, for road deaths and injuries are sudden, violent, traumatic with the impact which is long-lasting and often permanent.

The festive season period is generally characterised by high traffic volumes in different routes of South Africa with fatalities over this period remaining unacceptably high.

Apart from the national industry shutdown and school holidays, the period is also characterised by religious pilgrimages and mass events. The risk is higher this year because of the 23rd to 27th December 2016, including the New Year's Eve weekend.

Given the above mentioned peculiarities, we already commenced with our road safety activations which will last up until January 2017.

The Department of Transport together with all our Road Entities is on high alert to protect and serve all road users. Alone we might not be strong enough, but we now stand together with our social partners to declare that road crashes, fatalities and injuries can be stopped.

I am humbled by the responses we continuously receive from many of our transport industry leaders in the private sector in support of the call to work together in introducing programs that targets the behaviour of drives as well as introducing improvements in the safety features of vehicles and vehicle components.

Let us use the festive season to reaffirm our commitment to the UN Decades of Action for Road Safety which seeks to stabilise and reduce road fatalities by 50% in 2020. Let us be more considerate in word and in deed.

Let us also take time to pay tribute to our Traffic Law Enforcement Officers, the South African Police Service (SAPS), South African National Defence Force (SANDF), Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and health practitioners who will be working to give off their time to ensure that our laws are implemented and offer their services that people on our roads are safe, secure and comfortable.

I am appealing to all South African to note that those who do drunk driving, excessive speeding, negligent and the overall transgression of the National Traffic Act and Traffic Regulations will be punished.

Let us respect each other on the road and be responsible road users. Remember the roads are a shared space.

Our call for road safety should reverberate throughout the length and breadth of our beautiful country: in our homes, in our workplaces, in hospitals, in places of worship and everywhere! Most importantly, this call to end road deaths must be heard on our country's streets, freeways, shebeens, recreational venues and by-ways.

Don't drink and drive

Wear seat belts

Don't text and drive

Don't drink and walk

Don't speed

Be responsible and you will arrive alive

Road Safety is everyone's responsibility

I thank you

Source: Government of South Africa

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