Minister Madikizela launches Festive Season Safety Plan
Media Release by Bonginkosi Madikizela, Western Cape Minister of Transport and Public Works
It will not be business as usual during this festive season.
Over the past years, we have had to deal with various situations beyond our control, such as the closing dates for schools and industries, which have a negative impact on the volumes we experience over the Festive period.
This year we are dealing with an invisible enemy, the coronavirus.
The Western Cape is still expecting an influx of vehicular traffic from other parts of the province this festive season, and while this is good news for the tourism economy of the Western Cape, it will require us to take extra measures to keep our roads safe and to contain Covid-19.
This is why this year our Festive Season Safety Plan also includes a focus on Covid-19, through increased enforcement and awareness of Covid-19 health and safety rules, especially on public transport.
There are currently over 2 million registered motor vehicles in the Western Cape. A total of 5 445 719 vehicles entered the province in the 2019/20 festive season compared to 4 908 481 vehicles in 2018.
Even though the province recorded a 23% decline in road fatalities during the previous festive season, I remain seriously concerned about the high number of people who are dying on our roads.
The repetitive and major contributor to the high number of fatalities currently are pedestrians. This has remained a weekly pattern. If you are a pedestrian, do not drink and walk, please wear visible clothing and remove headphones and earphones when you cross the road. Play your part in making our roads safe. Safer roads are everyone’s responsibility.
Since October Transport Month, my Department’s Chief Directorate: Traffic Management has been providing structured Traffic Law Enforcement interventions. These include effective road safety education with communication and awareness programmes that positively influence all road users to improve behaviour when using the road network to commute within and beyond the Western Cape.
Our tactical 2020/21 Festive Season Plan had been aligned to the National 365 Road Safety Calendar as well as the Western Cape Traffic Law Enforcement operational objectives with the following focus areas:
- Integrated Provincial Interventions and Focus
- Scholar Transport Operations
- Public Transport Operations
- Weighbridge Operations (Freight transport, RTQS checks illegal movements, Massamatic screening of loads and long distance busses)
- Driver and vehicle fitness operations
- Alcohol enforcement
- Fatigue Management Operations
- Moving Violations Operations
- Seatbelt Operations (front and rear)
- Speed Operations
- Integrated Provincial Operations
- Inter-Provincial Traffic Operations among Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape
- Integrated SAPS operations - 24/7 DMA Operations
- Cross Border Operations (Weighbridges/Provincial Borders)
These plans are based on priority operations but are not limited to the day to day operations that will be conducted at all Traffic Centres where auxiliary services are being rendered.
We will once again set up Compulsory Fatigue Management Awareness checkpoints at critical locations on the N1 and N2 to regulate specifically the drivers of public transport and to enforce the resting period of not driving more than 200km and or two hours at a stretch.
The need for responsible driving reinforced by traffic law enforcement is a key part of our plan. We must not speed, always follow the rules of the roads, and ensure our vehicles are roadworthy.
Drunk driving will not be tolerated. 318 motorists have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol between 27 March and 1 December 2020. A massive spike of 103 cases was recorded between 12 November and 1 December after the President announced the normal resumption of alcohol sales on 11 November.
I would like to encourage everyone who will be visiting the Western Cape to always follow the Covid-19 golden rules of hygiene to keep us all safe during the festive season and to avoid the 3 Cs - close contact, close spaces and crowded places.
Those who are using public transport must wear their face masks and ensure there is good ventilation at all times.
I will, where possible, visit local and long distance public transport interchanges to ensure operators and passengers comply with Alert Level 1 regulations.
I appeal to all people on our roads to drive and behave responsibly, and I wish you all a very safe Festive Season.
Spokesperson for Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela
Cell: 082 953 0026