Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has warned public transport operators and motorists that overload and drive unroadworthy cars that their vehicles will be impounded if they are found on the roads.
“Mobile testing stations will be placed at strategic points to test the roadworthiness of vehicles travelling to major destinations during this period,” Minister Peters said on Friday.
Roadblocks and traffic law enforcement operations will be intensified this weekend as motorists will be travelling to various destinations, including to religious pilgrimages and holidays.
“We also have adopted a zero tolerance attitude to those who intend to bribe and corrupt our traffic law enforcement officers. We do this because nothing is more important than the safety of the people who travel on the country’s vast road network,” Minister Peters said.
She has instructed traffic law enforcement officers to be on high alert, to show no mercy and adopt zero tolerance to traffic law violations and those driving in possession of false documents.
“Our plan includes highly visible traffic law enforcement patrols on all known hazardous routes. There will be roving law enforcement operation in hotspots, including built-up areas such as suburbs, townships and villages,” Minister Peters said.
The Department of Transport and its entities will give special attention to private motor vehicles, minibuses and light delivery vehicles, including pedestrian safety.
“There will be an intense focus on moving violation of traffic regulations by these vehicles and the instructions have been issued to traffic officers to arrest those who drive recklessly, those who are negligent and use excessive speed.
“Heavy fines will be issued for every passenger not wearing a seatbelt and for a child who is not in a child restraint. Road safety officers will be placed at points where pedestrians cross busy roads and as a result cause accidents,” Minister Peters said.
She urged all road users, motorists and pedestrians to make road safety their number one priority.
Motorists have been called to heed the following tips to stay safe on the roads during the festive period:
- Plan ahead to avoid driving after drinking – organise a lift, catch a cab or public transport, designate a driver or stay at a mate’s place.
- Never use your phone while driving.
- Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy.
- Don’t rush – stick to the speed limit and allow extra time for your journey.
- Get a good night’s sleep before you hit the road and make sure you take regular breaks on long trips – fatigue kills.
- Always buckle up.
- Drive to the conditions – increase your following distance and drive slower than the signed speed limit if stuck in bad weather (or delay your trip until the weather clears).