More than 3 000 people have been arrested for violating traffic and road laws since the beginning of December, according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
RTMC’s Simon Zwane told News24 that, of those arrested, 1 300 were held for driving under the influence. Other transgressions included driving unroadworthy vehicles, speeding, and driving without a licence.
Zwane said more than 1 100 cars had been impounded thus far, and more than 1 600 cars had been discontinued, as they were not roadworthy.
He said that the RTMC would work along with other authorities, including police and traffic officers, to ensure the safety of road users.
Christmas traffic peak
“It’s been quiet on the accident side of things, we are optimistic where we are at the moment. We are gearing up for the last minute rush of Christmas, which will peak from Friday,” he said.
Zwane said they had tested their festive season road safety plan on the weekend of December 16, and would monitor roads which were prone to accidents.
He warned motorists to be careful on all major South African routes, warning road users to exercise extra caution on the N3 towards Durban, the N2 in KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern Cape. The N1 between Limpopo and Gauteng and the N1 and N2 in the Western Cape are also routes which usually have a high accident rate.
Zwane said that, although authorities would do their bit, motorists had to comply with the rules of the road and conduct themselves in a decent manner.
“Please do your part, plan your trips properly, be patient with other road users, conduct yourself properly,” he said.
Arrive Alive has some tips for road safety during the festive season including:
• Ensuring the road worthiness of vehicles, including examining all lights and indicators, windscreen wipers, brakes, steering, exhaust system and tyres for any faults;
• Buckling up and taking safety breaks every two hours or 200km;
• Avoiding driver distractions, such as talking on the phone or texting while driving;
• Staying within the speed limit at all times and avoiding drunk driving;
• Placing valuables in the boot of your car and never leaving items such as cellphones and wallets in open sight, unattended, or on the seat of a car;
• Turning your headlights and windscreen wipers on when it is raining. Try to reduce speed and try not to brake suddenly. Often there is oil and petrol on the road, which can cause you to skid out of control;
• If there is fog, reduce speed, turn headlights onto low, or use fog lamps. Use the road markings or the verge of the road as a guide and be very alert for sudden looming obstacles.[source: news24]