Minister Mitchell Launches Festive Season Road Safety Plan

9 December 2022
Department of Transport and Public Works

Minister Mitchell Launches Festive Season Road Safety Plan, adding 99 additional boots on the ground

Media Release by Daylin Mitchell Western Cape Minister of Mobility

The Western Cape is expecting a huge influx of motorists in and out of the province during this festive season. This is good news for the tourism economy as we are pushing our priorities of jobs, safety and well-being.

We had to deal with difficult situations over the past two years while the country was struggling with the pandemic that affected the movement of people and their livelihoods.

We dealt with situations that were beyond our control, such as the closing of schools and industries which had a negative impact on traffic volumes.

We’re on a mission to radically reduce road harm this festive season, but to succeed, we need your help. We also need enough boots on the ground to enforce the law and help make our roads safer.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Directorate: Traffic Training and Development on their continuous and outstanding training achievements for the 2022 academic year. The Gene Louw Traffic College has successfully trained 99 student provincial and municipal traffic officers who are graduating today – our brand-new boots on the ground, who will be deployed at various provincial traffic centres and municipalities across the province starting from Monday and Tuesday next week. The new graduates will add to the workforce at various Provincial Traffic Centres (85) across the Province, including in Overstrand (3), Swartland (4) and Stellenboch (7) Municipalities. These new officers will be arriving at their centres, operationally ready, to further our objectives, with a strong focus on embracing technology.

These officers have been through a demanding, year- long accredited training course to complete the required Further Education and Training Certificate: Road Traffic Law Enforcement Course. I would like to personally congratulate all of you and thank you in advance for the sacrifices you will be making, saving lives and making our roads safer while others will be enjoying family time during the festive season.

Despite all the challenges, our law enforcement officers have throughout the year adopted a 365-day approach to road safety and will continue during the festive season to provide intensive, structured traffic law enforcement and road safety interventions, with a view to positively influencing all road users to demonstrate improved behaviour, while using our road network to commute within and beyond the Western Cape.

The past two years will always be remembered for the impact of the coronavirus. However, it has not been entirely negative and, moving forward, we will be using some of the lessons learned and changing the way we do certain things. We will be enhancing the Habitual Traffic Transgressor Programme, supporting drunk driving operations, educationally utilising the sky-banner campaign, enhancing communication strategies through mobile roadside billboards and boosting social media coverage of integrated operations across the province through the Safely Home Programme.

Extensive use of all our available data and information sources played a critical role when we compiled our detailed Integrated Tactical Plan for this Festive Season which aligns to critical periods, and is divided into a four-phase approach, namely:

  • Industry and School Closure (9 December 2022 / 15 December 2022)
  • Majority of movement in and out of Province (15 December till 24 December 2022)
  • Local and daily movement (26 December till 1 January 2023)
  • Majority of movement in and out of Province (7 January till 18 January 2023)

 Our primary focus this festive season remains the maintenance and the regulation of safe and responsible road user behaviour through the following approach:

  • 365 –day approach towards road safety in the Province
  • Effective Quarterly tactical planning and implementation
  • Good collaboration between internal and external role-players including neighbouring provinces and SAPS
  • Monitoring and evaluation of integrated interventions
  • Continuous reviewing of methodologies to adapt to the business needs

 Our key operational focus areas for this season include:

  • Alcohol enforcement
  • Speed enforcement
  • Driver and vehicle fitness
  • Public transport
  • Fatigue management
  • Moving violation enforcement

Our educational focus areas for this season include:

  • Pedestrian awareness
  • Freight awareness
  • Motorcycle awareness
  • Driver and passenger awareness
  • Vulnerable road user awareness

The Habitual traffic transgressor programme has been enhanced to identify repetitive bad driver behaviour on our roads which can potentially lead to road crashes and fatalities. This intervention includes compulsory engagements between the habitual transgressors and our traffic officers when stopped in an effort for drivers to voluntarily correct their behaviour patterns while using the public road. The programme promises to provide rigorous education and communication interventions to encourage and highlight the value of good driver behaviour in the Western Cape.

The verified data used has been sourced through our electronic systems providing our officers with valid information, highlighting the areas of bad behavioural tendencies of certain drivers which has taken place over a period of time, this will enable our officers to have an impact on the habitual transgressors in an all-around effort to ultimately reduce road crashes and fatalities.

Planned Fatigue Management operations will be executed in conjunction with all role players within our Branch: Transport Management the Chief Directorate Transport Operations, Provincial Regulatory Entity and our external partners which include Emergency Medical Services, Forensic Pathology Services and SAPS to manage fatigue amongst road users.

 The focus and objective of this intervention will be to specifically monitor, regulate and enforce Public Transport vehicles travelling inter-provincially on all major routes, using an electronic application which was developed to address driver fatigue and has contributed significantly to the reduction in the total number of public transport vehicle crashes, and fatalities throughout the year. Using the handheld devices and other available technology, the system is capable of creating a log of public transport drivers which we can track key fatigue-indicating data such as departures and arrival points, driving times, speed profiling as well as vehicle tracking.

 The fatigue alerts assist officers to identify and stop drivers who may have been driving without a rest period for further investigation which also entails screening for physical signs of fatigue. Blood pressure and glucose tests are performed by Emergency Medical Services. Fatigued drivers will be compelled to rest before continuing their journeys. The implementation of these well-established operations creates a safe environment for any other motorist to voluntarily at these venues to have a rest period thus applying the 2-hour driving time or 200km rule.

 The unpredictable movement of pedestrians and more specifically intoxicated pedestrians across the province has been the largest contributor to our fatality rate throughout the year, and the Festive Season is no exception.  Let’s make it our joint goal to radically reduce pedestrian fatalities.

As part of our integrated Pedestrian Safety Plan which our Directorate: Road Safety Management will spearhead, the focus will be on:

  • Visibilty
  • Jaywalking
  • Destructive and Distracted Walking (Drinking and Walking and the use of cellphones)

I appeal to everyone who will be visiting the Western Cape to adhere to the rules of the road. We are most definitely going to watch our routes attentively in order to create the omnipresence that is needed to ensure road safety in the Western Cape.

I wish you all a safe and joyous Festive Season.

Audio: Minister Mitchell launches Festive Season Safety Plan

Media queries:          

Ntomboxolo Makoba-Somdaka
Spokesperson for Minister Daylin Mitchell
Cell: 082 953 0026