Transport Minister Blade Nzimande says he is impressed that Easter Weekend crash fatalities have decreased by 40% on the country’s roads compared to 2018.
Nzimande was speaking at a roadblock at the Marianhill toll plaza in Durban on Sunday. He has attributed the decrease in road crashes to police visibility.
Nzimande says the department has introduced the new system which includes a breathalyser that will detect alcohol levels instantly.
“We are at least heartened by the fact that compared this time to last year fatalities have been reduced by 40% which is significant. Of course, we would not like to lose a single soul on our roads. Unfortunately, we still have these numbers. But we are pleased that the numbers are down and we attribute that largely to the fact that we have increased the visibility of law enforcement officers which is one thing that contributes to less road crashes. We have a new breathalyser which I must correct myself now, it’s going to be testing the level of alcohol in the blood and not blood in the alcohol.”
Motorists urged to drive carefully
The Road Traffic Management Corporation is also urging motorists and other road users to be on high alert as traffic volumes in the country’s major routes increase at the end of the Easter Weekend. This comes amid a warning from the Weather Service about rains and mist in many parts of the country.
Toll gates on some major routes are reporting well over a thousand vehicles per hour. RTMC Chief Executive Officer Makhosini Msibi says, “We also urge all our motorists to take care of the speed in this inclement weather. Let’s drive with caution. Let’s not use a cellphone when driving. Can we also try at all costs to ensure that we buckle up.”
Meanwhile, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has again appealed to motorists to be cautious on the roads as they return from their Easter holidays.
At least 27 people in the province have died from 23 crashes since the start of the long Easter Weekend.
Nkosi-Malobane has extended her condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones and also wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.
Scores of drivers have been arrested for offences including drunk driving and speeding.
The death toll on Western Cape roads this Easter has risen to 32. This follows a head-on collision between two vehicles near Bredasdorp in which killed eight people were killed.
Provincial Traffic Chief, Kenny Africa, says four men and four women died on the scene. In 2018 the death toll on the province’s roads over Easter was 27.
Over 65 000 traffic fines across SA
Traffic officials have arrested more than 500 motorists and issued over 65 000 traffic fines across the country since the start of the Easter Holidays. Of the 500 arrested, at least 300 motorists were caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson, Wayne Minnaar says, “We used the 88 point system whereby there were 88 roadside checks at one time. What that means is at any stage a vehicle not stopped at one of the checks will be stopped at another. I think that has helped tremendously. Also being vigilant and the instruments we are using – the breathalyser – that has helped because there is no need to take long lengthy processes.
In Johannesburg, nearly 200 were arrested just with that machine, which has helped tremendously.”