Johannesburg Christmas exodus begins

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As thousands of holidaymakers make their way to various holiday destinations for the festive season, motorists have been warned to be vigilant on the roads.

A number of companies have closed for the holidays and a lot of people are taking long distance trips to spend time with their loved ones.

However, high fatalities are recorded each year around this time of the year and motorists are urged to be extra cautious.

Scores of people have started to leave the city of Johannesburg for various holiday destinations. The Johannesburg Metro Police Department says it has begun to experience heavy traffic leaving the city using the N3 and the N1 north highways.

JMPD Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar has urged motorists to exercise caution while driving and to rest if taking long distance tips.

“Traffic is slowly starting to pick up in many of the major routes, particularly, the N3 going towards KZN and also the N1 towards Limpopo. Motorists should do a pre-trip inspection before embarking on a long trip. And drivers should drive within the speed limit. They should not overtake when it is not safe, particularly over solid white lines. This behaviour causes accidents.”

At least 86 drunken drivers have been arrested so far in Johannesburg since the city launched it’s 2019 festive season safety operation over a week ago.

The operation was launched by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula. The minister has warned that lawlessness will not be tolerated on South African roads.

“For those who do not obey the rules, The law will be on them and the rule of law will be thrown on them. They will be arrested. In Johannesburg alone road blocks and law enforcement is going to intensify.”

More people are expected to leave the city of Johannesburg throughout the weekend and the whole of next week. Some of the drivers that spoke to the SABC News have committed to abide by the rules of the road to ensure that they get every one home safely and that they do not put the lives of others in danger.

“For Harare, we leave around 3 or 4. From here to the Beit Bridge border it takes 7 hours. Two driver, another one starts driving from Joburg to Polokwane. Then the other take from Polokwane to Beit Bridge. We exchange until we reach Harare. So we have to try to be cautious every time so that we reach safely…….Do not drink alcohol, be a good driver. If you do not abide by the rules of the road, you will end up causing accidents.”

Gauteng Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo launched the Provincial festive season road safety campaign at Grasmere toll plaza, and he also called on everyone to prioritise safety on the roads.