Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has appealed to all road users – including pedestrians – not to let their guard down this Easter weekend with regard to road safety. The Minister has urged all road users to act with caution and vigilance at all times as thousands of people take to the roads on long-distance journeys to various destinations.
Traffic volumes on the country’s major routes are expected to rise which increases the possibility of road traffic crashes. “Last week we launched our Easter long weekend campaign in Kimberly urging every citizen to take personal responsibility for what happens on the road. As government, we will continue to enforce the rules of the road but we ask you to please play your part,” says Minister Peters.
FleetWatch also urges all truck drivers to take extra care out there and to look out for those little ‘uns, many of whom are not experienced in long distance driving. While truck drivers spend their lives on the road, some of the motorists who will be sharing the roads only get out there once or twice a year. As such, they are bound to make mistakes and we urge all truck drivers to look out for – and look after them. Let’s show the country that we are a caring and safe sector.
According to the Minister, traffic law enforcement officers will be deployed on all the major routes including the N1, N2, N3 and N4, among others. There will be increased visibility of marked traffic police vehicles from all spheres of government. Traffic officers will be working in cooperation with the SAPS in manning joint road side inspections (road blocks) to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles and legally licensed drivers are using our roads.
“I have instructed traffic police to spare no effort in ridding our roads of people who pose a danger to other road users. This includes people driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, people driving at break-neck speeds, unlicensed or fraudulently licensed drivers, as well as unroadworthy and overloaded vehicles.
“Traffic police have also been instructed to stop public transport vehicles and they must show no reluctance in discontinuing vehicles that do not meet the necessary safety standards,” says Minister Peters, adding that fleet owners will be held liable if and when their unroadworthy vehicles are intercepted on the roads or are involved in crashes.
The Minister says in partnership with the Limpopo provincial government, there will be a specialized traffic police outfit named “The N1 Traffic Brigade”. Its primary task will be to monitor traffic flow on the N1 from Pretoria to Beitbridge on the border of Zimbabwe.
The approximately 460km long route is popular for high traffic volumes particularly buses ferrying people to Zion City Moria outside Polokwane for the annual Easter pilgrimage. The route is also used by buses and minibus taxis transporting people from Gauteng to Zimbabwe.
Minister Peters also appealed to passengers to be patient with law enforcement operations as these are carried out in their best interests. She has also called on pedestrians to exercise caution and only walk in designated pedestrian areas. The Minister has also cautioned against drinking and walking as at least 40% of road fatalities involve pedestrians.
FleetWatch wishes all our readers a Happy Easter and please take care on the roads. We want you all back safely after the long weekend.