Tshwane Metro Police have warned road users to obey traffic rules in order to minimize crashes during the festive period.
The City of Tshwane’s MMC for Community Safety, Grandi Theunissen launched the metro’s festive season road safety campaign at the Carousel Toll Plaza on the N1 North Freeway, outside Pretoria, on Wednesday afternoon.
Motorists on this stretch of road have been subjected to a stop-and-search at a roadblock managed by metro police and members of SAPS.
Some were fined for driving without licenses and travelling in unroadworthy vehicles. For most, it was smooth-sailing, as traffic volumes were low on the N1 North.
“We started at Bosman station in Pretoria and we are on our way to Polokwane in Limpopo. There’s traffic but it’s not bad and the driving is good,” says Motorist.
“For now the traffic is still flowing very well. We not sure if things might change later on,” another motorist added.
Theunissen says driving under the influence and jaywalking remain a major challenge on the country’s roads.
“We know from many years’ statistics that the major cause of road deaths are caused by abuse of alcohol and speeding. Take it easy, do not drink and drive. Don’t drink and walk on the roads. You’re endangering yourself and everybody on the road. That’s why there are speed limits to adhere to. You will be caught… be warned. They’re roadblocks and speed traps. We are out there to stop speeding,” Theunissen explains.
A sentiment shared by the city’s Chief of Metro Police, Johannah Nkomo. “We had a lot of fatalities whereby we lost our own members while attending to accident scenes with some of the motorists drunk. So we do what is called pattern analysis, it showed that around this or early in the morning that’s when many accidents happen. This is when many people are from having fun and they’re under the influence of liquor,” says Nkomo.
The Road Accident Fund has also cautioned motorists to behave well during this period. RAF’s Senior Manager Siphamandla Gumbi says, “As the Road Accident Fund (RAF) we wish to encourage all road users to save lives and reduce trauma this festive season. By choosing lifesaving behaviour over the impulse to use the roads negligently. Be a responsible user and help us reduce the number of deaths, injuries on our roads,” says Gumbi.
Over 1400 people died on the country’s roads between December and January last year.
VIDEO: Not much traffic on the Phumlani Toll Plaza