Transport Department ready for high Easter holidays traffic volumes

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula says his department and various law enforcement agencies are ready for the upcoming 2021 Easter period.

He was briefing Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport on his department’s readiness to curb this year’s Easter road fatalities on Friday.

Mbalula says his department’s strategy will include compulsory stopping of vehicles for regular searches and testing for drunken driving.

“The critical factors that underpinned the plan for the Easter amongst others, include the following: compulsory stopping of the public transport and private vehicles and smaller vehicles and trucks; over-speeding; increase the presence of law enforcement and others. Drinking and driving pedestrians will be monitored and traffic controls.”

The Department report indicates that there was a notable decline of 4.9% in the number of pedestrians who died on the roads compared to the previous year.

“However, driver fatalities increased from 24.2% to 26.9%, passenger fatalities increased from 32.2% to 34.5% while cyclist fatalities stood at one percent.”

It further says, “34.1% of crashes happened during the curfew, between midnight and 06:00.”

According to the Minister, the following roads accounted for the highest number of crashes and fatalities:

1. N3 near Harrismith, KwaZulu-Natal

2. N2 near Idutywa, Eastern Cape

3. N1 near Modimolle, Limpopo

4. R37 Mecklenburg, Limpopo

5. N12 near Potchefstroom, North-West

E-toll system

The Democratic Alliance in Gauteng has called on Mbalula to fulfill his promise to scrap the e-toll system.

Mbalula indicated that the national government would provide certainty about the future of e-tolls by the end of next month.

All toll fees, including e-tolls, are set to increase from the 1st of next month.

“We call on him to please stick to his promise this time around and not postpone it again like it has been done for the past 18 months. The only outcome that we would like to see in his announcement is the end of e-tolls as the Gauteng residents can no longer carry this burden” says DA’s Gauteng Shadow Transport MEC, Fred Nel.