Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant on Thursday launched the Integrated Provincial Traffic Operational Plan for the Festive Season 2014/2015. Grant said the plan has been divided into five operational phases which include pre-season, start of the holiday season, holiday, end of holiday and then the wind up of the holiday at the end of January.
“Fatalities have come down over this period, from 263 fatalities in 2010/2011, down to 221 in 2013 so certainly we are hoping to reduce that by just under 200 and that would be a significant achievement,” said Grant.
To date, approximately 100 people would die in car accidents per month on the provinces roads.
The department has vowed to re-double their efforts to make sure they prevent crashes but in particular fatalities with the programme of events, supported in partnership with local traffic authorities, municipalities, SAPS, emergency services and the City of Cape Town.
“No one will be taking leave. We’ll be working around the clock to try and make sure that our motorists and pedestrians are safe on our roads,” said Grant.
Operations will be rigorously enforced, and officers will focus on people who drive without seatbelts.
Grant said the consequences of reckless driving were visibly seen in a fatal crash that claimed the life of a young local actor, depicted in a video that spread like wildfire on social media.
“It is sad. I visited his family last week and to look and see their pain …it saddens me. If he was wearing a seatbelt he would still be around today,” said Grant.
Grant urged that motorists know the rules of the road and need to adhere to it.
“Do not speed, do not drink and drive, not to use mobile phones while driving and most importantly, everyone who occupies a vehicle should be buckled up.”
He said that while focusing on motor vehicle drivers, they have also embarked on operation “Tlhokomela”, aimed at taxi drivers. The MEC will be visiting taxi association’s sites during next week.
This is aimed at making sure the long distance taxi operators observe the law more stringently than in the past. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)