Minister Dipuo Peters: Festive Season Road Safety

Minister of Transport Festive Road Season Safety Statement

This Festive season many people are traveling on our roads to various destinations which will lead to the number of the vehicle population increasing on our roads.

To this extend, I remain concern with the spate of road crashes and fatalities that remains on an increase in the major part of our country's roads.

Far too many of our people have died needlessly on our roads due to the negligent and arrogant behavior of a few people who chose not to obey the rules of the road.

I therefore urge all road users, motorists and pedestrians alike, to make road safety their number one priority.

On the 03rd December 2016, when I launched the Festive season road safety campaign to highlight our festive period road safety plans, I challenged all road users to rethink their attitude to travelling even just a few kilometres over the set limit.

I instructed our traffic law enforcement officers to be on high alert, to show no mercy and adopt zero tolerance to traffic law violations and those driving in possession of false documents.

Our plan includes highly visible traffic law enforcement patrols on all known hazardous routes. There will be roving law enforcement operation in hotspots including built-up areas such as suburbs, townships and villages.

We will give special attention to private motor vehicles, minibuses and light delivery vehicles, including pedestrian safety.

There will be an intense focus on moving violation of traffic regulations by these vehicles and the instructions have been issued to traffic officers to arrest those who drive recklessly, those who are negligent and use excessive speed.

More attention will also be paid to passenger and pedestrian safety. To deal with this scourge, heavy fines will be issued for every passengers not wearing a seatbelt and for a child who is not on a child restraint. Road safety officers will be placed at points where pedestrians cross busy roads and as a result cause accidents.

Mobile testing stations will be placed at strategic points to test the roadworthiness of vehicles travelling to major destinations during this period. We would like to warn public transport operators, and all other motorists that, overloaded and un-roadworthy vehicles will not be allowed to proceed to their destinations. Please heed this warning and do not claim that you did not know, as vehicles will be impounded.

Roadblocks and traffic law enforcement operations will be intensified again this week on the second peak travel period from Friday, December 23rd when motorists will be travelling to various destinations including to religious pilgrimages and holidays.

We also have adopted a zero tolerance attitude to those who intend to bribe and corrupt our traffic law enforcement officers.

We do this because nothing is more important than the safety of the people who travel on the country's vast road network.

PLEASE heed to the following tips to stay safe on the roads during the Festive period:

Plan ahead to avoid driving after drinking organise a lift, catch a cab or public transport, designate a driver or stay at a mate's place.

Never use your phone while driving

Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy

Don't rush stick to the speed limit and allow extra time for your journey.

Get a good night's sleep before you hit the road and make sure you take regular breaks on long trips fatigue kills.

Always buckle up.

Drive to the conditions increase your following distance and drive slower than the signed speed limit if stuck in bad weather (or delay your trip until the weather clears).

I would like to extend my gratitude to the tenacity of our traffic officers as they often deal with difficult situations on our roads. Against all odds, our traffic officers are able to manage our roads efficiently and effectively.

To the road users who have been following our road rules and respecting our traffic law enforcement officers, I take my hat off to you all.

I wish you all safe travel.

Source: Government of South Africa

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