Western Cape launches Easter season traffic safety plan
The Western Cape is expecting a busier Easter holiday season this year as more South Africans from other provinces travel to the Western Cape, and our residents explore the many beautiful places that exist across the province.
I want to upfront warmly welcome these travelers to our province, and remind them that Covid-19 has not gone on holiday and every single person must be on high alert so that they do not get infected with Covid-19 or spread Covid-19 infection during the stay.
It is also important to remember that just like any year we have to make sure we arrive safely at our destinations. We must all make sure that we practice good driver behaviour, comply with the rules of the road, stay within the legal speed limits and observe adequate rest periods during travel in order to avoid fatigue.
To assist with these two important priorities, I today launched our Easter season traffic safety plan.
This plan forms part of our 365-day approach towards road safety, which will be strengthened through well-structured and integrated operations across the Western Cape this weekend.
While all National and Provincial objectives have been considered in respect of our road safety campaign, the Western Cape will activate our approved Easter plans effective from tomorrow, Thursday 1 April 2021, including these two critical periods;
- Easter weekend - 01 April 2021 – 06 April 2021
- Freedom Day and Workers’ Day long weekend, including school closure and re-opening - 23 April 2021 – 3 May 2021
We are continually looking at ways to revise our current methodologies and approach in order to provide road safety awareness to all road users and to regulate and promote good driver behaviour.
It is with this in mind that I am pleased to announce that we will be stringently addressing habitual offenders who repeatedly break the law on our roads.
As part of a first phase, we have been able to upload records of habitual offenders where vehicles that have 10 or more infringements recorded over the last 6 months will appear.
The purpose of the function is to alert the traffic officers through their handheld devices whenever these offenders are sighted through the ASOD sites. This will enable the officer to stop and engage such motorists.
The details of the previous infringements will be displayed on-screen to assist the officer while interacting with the drivers to make them aware of previous infringements. The device functionality is able to capture any comments based on such interaction with the drivers.
The new method is a tool which will assist in achieving a dual purpose - to promote education and awareness while tactfully equipping our officers to enforce effectively.
This will in the long run have an impact on driver behaviour and increase compliance on our roads and ultimately contribute towards a reduction in road fatalities this Easter.
As a Province, we strive on a daily basis to promote consistency and the rule of law in our traffic law enforcement response. There are no exceptions for motorists who display lawlessness, disobey the basic safety principles while on our roads and the attempt deliberate acts of bribery, corruption and other criminal activities.
Following President Ramaphosa’s announcements last night, I urge motorists to consume alcohol responsibly during this period and not to take to the roads if they are under the influence as it will endanger their own lives, those of loved ones and vulnerable road users that can be easily injured.
My plea our pedestrians: please DON’T DRINK and WALK. Be safe in your environments and stay off the roadways.
My officers will intensify their activities and will harshly enforce the law in relation to those who drive on our roads while under the influence. As a society, every one of us should take personal responsibility for our own behaviour as road users.
If you drive a public transport vehicle, be extra careful and cautious throughout your journey. Take personal responsibility for ensuring the safety of your passengers. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and that your operating licence is in order. Ensure that you and all passengers are wearing masks over their noses and mouths, and sanitising regularly.
Observe passenger limits – 100% of licensed carrying capacity for journeys shorter than 200 km, and 70% of carrying capacity for journeys of more than 200 km. Make sure the windows are at least 5 cm open on both sides of your vehicle at all times.
When you experience a breakdown, do not allow your passengers to get out of the vehicle and into the roadway which will endanger their lives.
Tired drivers will be pulled off and made to rest before they resume their onward journeys.
My traffic officers and road safety practitioners will actively execute integrated operations focusing on the following areas but not limited to them:
- Public and Learner Transport
- Driver and vehicle fitness
- Alcohol enforcement
- Fatigue management
- Moving violations
- Freight movement and overload control
- Farm worker safe transportation
- Seatbelt compliance for all vehicle occupants
- Speed and
- Pedestrian safety
We will continue to enforce Disaster Management Act regulations and participate at inter-provincial operations between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape and Western Cape and Northern Cape.
As well as extensive media and awareness campaigns during this period to educate and heighten awareness on pedestrian safety, driver responsibility, the safe transportation of farmworkers and the safe movement of freight including driver fatigue and wellness.
I would like wish everyone a blessed and safe Easter long weekend. Those who will be travelling, please make sure you arrive alive.