Huge influx of motor vehicles expected in the Western Cape this festive season
The festive season is now upon us. We are predicting an increase in vehicular traffic this festive season.
We are already seeing an influx of vehicles into the province as holiday goers travel to their respective destinations.
There is already pressure on our law enforcement officers to maintain law and order on our roads.
There was a decrease of 500 000 motor vehicles in 2018/19 into Cape Town compared to the previous year over the festive period. This decrease could have been due to the water restrictions that the Western Cape was undergoing, and possibly the increase in fuel price at the time.
However, we are to see a significant influx of motor vehicles into Cape Town this year as a result of water shortages that the rest of our country is facing. The start of the school holidays, industry closure, as well as the increase in the number of international and local events being hosted in the Western Cape will contribute to this influx.
Our law enforcement tactical and operational plans included a successful transport month in October which was compiled and finalised in line with identified critical dates over this period to address our provincial focal areas. The alignment and participation of the National 365 Road Safety Calendar which was initiated by the National Minister of Transport was helpful.
The analysis of our verified data sets obtained from our Intelligence Hub was used to determine the time, location of high-speed profiles, fatalities, movement of public transport and freight vehicles and potential public unrest patterns. This has contributed to proactive planning and will assist to deploy our human resources.
The 2019/20 Festive Season Plan includes but is not limited to:
National Interventions such as:
- Chain Speed enforcement on all major routes
- Special Operation Malayisha overload weighbridge activities: Freight transport, Dangerous goods vehicles, Illegal movement of persons and illegal substances,
- Alcohol enforcement
- Driver and vehicle fitness
- Public Transport compliance
The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works will continue to work closely on the Provincial Tactical and Operational Focal areas and enforce the law on our roads. Our officers will specifically focus on the following:
- Driver fitness, passengers and documentation, including safety belts, front and rear during this operation.
- Moving violations. This area will focus on the tactical deployment of our Ghost Squad operations to address all moving violations and look into speed enforcement.
- Vulnerable road users (Pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists). The safe movement of pedestrians remains a challenge and more specifically they are intoxicated over the Festive period. All intoxicated pedestrians on our main routes will be removed and placed in the safe custody of SAPS.
- Vehicle and documentation. This will focus on the strategic deployment of Mobile Vehicle Testing Units to address roadworthiness and general vehicle fitness such as defective tyres, lamps, brakes including trailers and the movement of dangerous goods vehicles
- Fatigue Management programme: Public and Freight Transport. The safe movement of our valuable citizens leaving or entering our province using public transport over the Festive Season is critical.
I am pleased to announce that our fatigue management operational plan which is a system application on our Enforce platform will be used by staff in the Branch: Transport Management Directorates: Traffic Law Enforcement, Land Transport Operations, Road Safety Management, Public Regulatory Entity and well as our operational partners Emergency Medical Services, SAPS, Forensic Pathology Services, Fire Service and Local Authority Traffic Services.
For additional support, Compulsory Fatigue Management Awareness checkpoints are set up at critical locations on the N1 and N2 on specific dates for three consecutive days to regulate specifically the drivers of public transport operators and to enforce the resting period of not driving more than 200km and or two hours at a stretch.
- Alcohol enforcement. Random Breath Testing (RBT) operations will not be limited to weekends only and will be linked to our RBT sky banner messaging campaign initiative and communication strategy as well the deployment of our three Mobile Alcohol Evidentiary Units.
- Communication Strategy. Other than the launch and deployment at critical times of the RBT sky banner campaign which I will officially launch on Saturday 14 December, we will intensify the continuous use of all media platforms to promote our Road Safety and Law Enforcement initiatives.
I am confident that the Inter-Provincial Traffic and SAPS operations which make up Operation Fihela and Operation Lockdown between the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape and the SAPS will yield positive results.
I am pleased to announce that our Provincial Traffic Services have 167 patrol vehicles fitted with in vehicle technology which has the capability of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) which enables our officers to determine the roadworthiness, validity of operating licences and clearance certificates. All of these patrol vehicles can also stream live footage to our Central Communication Centres as well as receive on-board alerts for any speed contraventions through any of our Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) sites on all of our national roads within the province.
As part of the Department’s proactive safety measures, 552 handheld devices were issued to all officers. These devices include but not limited to:
- Duty Roster and Deployment
- Driver Identification which includes scanning of SA driver licence, learner, temporary and manual entry of driver details
- Vehicle Identification through scanning vehicle licence disc manual add if no disc present
- Violation including adding moving violations and do RTQS and add vehicle inspection violation
- Printing Section 56 Summonses
Our road safety and law enforcement such as our RBT and Fatigue Awareness initiatives across the province will be amplified by our Safely Home social media platforms where we will keep our road users informed.
We also utilised the platforms to good effect over the 2018 Festive season as well as our Easter 2019 period when we reached just short of 5 million people across Facebook and Twitter and 9,8 million people with RBT messaging.
Currently, we have just over 2 million registered motor vehicles in the Western Cape. I would like to thank the law abiding motorists for adhering to the rules of the road and we will do everything in our power to address all transgressors and any motorist who still believe that they can bribe our traffic officers in our province.
In closing, I want to thank all our law-abiding motorists, and pedestrians who will be adhering to the Rules of the Road in our province. My law enforcement officers and operational partners will make a concerted effort to address any form of lawlessness on our roads to eradicate any injuries or fatalities.
I am proud and grateful to our traffic officers who will put in all the effort, to make our roads safer.
I wish you all a safe festive season.