Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has urged road users to exercise caution as law enforcement officials prepare to handle the roads over the upcoming Easter weekend.
Traditionally, busy roads during this period include the N1 from Gauteng to Limpopo, the N3 from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal, the N2 from Western Cape to Eastern Cape, the N14 from Gauteng to the North West and the N12.
Launching the Easter 2022 road safety campaign on the N12 in Breswol on Tuesday, the Minister said that this period “requires us to deploy resources skilfully… if we are to succeed in stopping [road] carnage”.
He said a reduction in road fatalities should be driven by innovative solutions that drive behavior change.
“Others will cross our land borders into neighboring states to spend time with their families and loved ones. Some will cross provincial borders to visit families and take a well-deserved break from work and educational institutions in the cities.
“During this period, members of the South African Police Service, National Traffic Police, Provincial Traffic Officers and Municipal Traffic Officers will enforce the law,” Mbalula said.
The minister said the campaign will focus on seat belts, technical control of vehicles, fatigue, drunk driving, pedestrian safety and dangerous driving (speeding, recklessness and overtaking on barriers ).
Mbalula said the government is aware that the upcoming Easter weekend will be difficult, with increased traffic volumes.
In January and February this year, 1,823 people lost their lives on South African roads. This figure was higher than the 1,521 deaths that occurred during the same period in 2021.
Over the past five years, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Limpopo have recorded the highest number of deaths compared to other provinces.
“All provinces saw death spikes in the first two months of the year, with Gauteng leading with 355 deaths, followed by KZN with 269, Western Cape 249, Limpopo 239 and Eastern Cape 232.
“The North West has recorded 170 deaths, Mpumalanga 158, Free State 96 and Northern Cape 66,” Mbalula said.
The leading causes of fatal crashes during the two-month period were crashes with pedestrians, followed by single-vehicle rollovers, hit-and-runs and head-on collisions. Drunk driving is suspected to be an underlying factor in hit-and-run and lone vehicle rollovers.
Since then, Mbalula said the government had carried out 147 “Phuza (drinking) Weekend” operations, resulting in 483 arrests.
“This campaign will be reinforced over the upcoming Easter long weekend, leading up to the May Day long weekend which ends on May 2.”
When the minister released the January statistics in February, the department pledged to step up enforcement operations focused on drinking and driving.
“We have specifically spoken our zero tolerance for “Thursdays of phuza”.
“I am pleased with the progress made by the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga to introduce a 24/7 shift system for traffic officers in their respective provinces. This will help improve the visibility of traffic officers. traffic on the roads at all hours of the day.
Expiration of driving licenses
The Minister warned drivers whose licenses have expired of the last possibility offered by the current regulations, which extend the grace period by 30 days from the date of the end of the state of disaster.
“This means that affected motorists have until May 5, 2022 to renew their expired driving license cards.
“We continue to urge those whose driver’s license cards expired between March 26, 2020 and August 31, 2021 to renew their license. The end of the state of disaster means that we can no longer issue instructions that further extend the grace period,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za
Road users urged to be careful over Easter weekend
SourceRoad users urged to be careful over Easter weekend