From the news desk

Drunken driving arrests rise but fewer vehicles on the road

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There have been fewer vehicles on the road compared to previous years during the festive season, says advocate Johan Jonck of Arrive Alive.

There also appears to be fewer accidents involving multiple fatalities.

The number of arrests for drunk driving is, however, still increasing.

READ | 46 arrested for drunk driving in the Western Cape over the weekend, 81 arrested in KZN

While roads were relatively calm on Sunday as some holidaymakers arrived at their destinations, officials remain committed to vigilant control of traffic, the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and Arrive Alive said.

“We are relatively pleased with the way [traffic flow] is going,” said RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane.

He said that on Sunday, traffic was flowing normally, with about 800 cars per hour recorded on the roads from Johannesburg into Durban and Limpopo.

“Traffic will calm down now on major national routes.”

Key areas

Zwane said people travelling on the N1 should be careful of trailers, and some cars, that had broken down along the road.

He said a key problem remained people driving with overloaded trailers.

As Christmas approaches, officials will focus on key areas of holiday-making destinations and enforce road safety there, said Zwane.

Pedestrian safety and curbing drunken driving is also another key focus area for officials.

Roadblocks and checkpoints will be set up, and alcohol tests conducted.

“The fact there are a number of single-vehicle accidents occurring suggests that driver fatigue or drunken driving remain problems.”

Jonck said he was pleased to see highly visible road traffic enforcement this year.

“There has been good co-ordination of roadblocks that are operating 24/7.”

This is important because often those who transport heavily overloaded trailers, travelled at night, believing they could escape law enforcement this way, explained Jonck.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula is expected to brief the media on mid-festive season road safety statistics and the results of law enforcement operations.

He will also inspect operations at the Beitbridge border post in Musina, Limpopo, where traffic volumes between South Africa and Zimbabwe are very high at this time of year.


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