Holiday Road Safety Plan launched with free vehicle fitness testing

3 April 2023
Mobility Department

Media release by Ricardo Mackenzie, Western Cape Minister of Mobility

Today, we launched the Holiday Road Safety Plan at the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell. The school holiday has started and many families are preparing to travel. At this time of year, there is a considerable increase in traffic volumes, which means we need to be on high alert to avoid accidents.

Last year we had 36 people dying on our roads during the April festive period. My wish is that all families will arrive at, and return from, their holiday destination safely this year.

Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is up to each one of us, whether a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian, to be the change we want to see on the roads. One of the most important things to do, before even leaving home, is to check your vehicle and make sure it is safe for being on the road.

Provincial Traffic Services are taking a new, proactive approach to help motorists prepare for traveling over the holiday period, by offering free Vehicle Fitness Testing to check tyres, lights, brakes, suspension, CV joints, electrical, fuel supply system, exhaust, wipers, and licence disc.

The opportunity is available until Wednesday 5 April and I encourage anyone planning to travel this week to bring their car down to Brackenfell.

But it’s not just about the holiday periods. Our Traffic Inspectors work hard 365 days a year to keep our roads safe, on duty patrolling and running operations, working closely with the South African Police Services and our neighbouring provinces. The Western Cape is still the only province that has a 24/7 presence of traffic services protecting our roads and actively reducing road fatality statistics.

We are expanding our Integrated Transport Hub, with a province-wide network of licence-plate reading cameras monitoring road traffic, enabling the immediate detection of:

  • road traffic infringements, contraventions and crime, including unroadworthy, unlicensed, and off-route vehicles;
  • cloned number plates;
  • fatigued drivers; and
  • vehicles known to be involved in crime.

Instant alerts from this system are sent to officers’ handheld devices to enable rapid response and interception.

While our Traffic inspectors are out in full force, there are some basic guidelines we can follow to take personal responsibility for our own safety, and the safety of all other road users.

There are simple ways to make holiday drives safe, apart from ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy before you hit the road.

  1. Make sure everyone is buckled up - this will massively reduce the chances of serious injury if something goes wrong.
  2. Every 200km, or two hours, take a break to reduce fatigue so you don’t nod off while driving.
  3. Speeding is tempting on a long journey, but it can be deadly. Just take it slow - can a couple of hours really be worth a life?
  4. It goes without saying that alcohol and drugs do not mix well with roads. Avoiding this combination can make the difference between life and death.

If we want to see any meaningful reduction in road deaths and trauma in our province, we all need to take a long hard look at our driving behaviour.

Taking chances, speeding, disobeying road rules and driving under the influence - amongst many other irresponsible behaviours we see on a daily basis - put the lives and safety of all road users at risk. There is simply no excuse. The stakes are too high.

This holiday period, let’s make these changes so that everyone will arrive home safely after the holiday.

Media queries:

Rebecca Campbell

Spokesperson for Minister Ricardo Mackenzie

076 783 2583