Mobility Minister emphasises personal responsibility to prevent road crashes this weekend

5 April 2023
Mobility Department

Media release by Ricardo Mackenzie, Western Cape Minister of Mobility

As the April long weekend approaches, we expect an increase in traffic volumes on our roads and an increase in the risk of crashes. We have helped motorists prepare for traveling with free vehicle fitness testing offered this week, and our Provincial Traffic Services (PTS) are conducting road safety operations across the province throughout the long weekend.

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.

However, last year we still had 36 people dying on our roads during the April holiday period. And the sad thing is that many of these tragic deaths could have been prevented with simple actions like buckling up, taking breaks from driving (every 200km), sticking to the speed limit and not mixing alcohol or drugs on the road. My sincere hope is that all families will arrive at, and return from, their holiday destinations 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. Please be considerate and careful. Look after your own safety, and the safety of every other person on the road.

Results of Provincial Traffic Services (PTS) operations - 27 March to 2 April 2023

Thirty-eight motorists were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol this week. Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your judgement as a driver or a pedestrian. When you have been drinking, make other arrangements to get home. If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer and the officer suspects that you are over the legal limit, you will be arrested. If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, you will have a criminal record.

Don’t drink and walk. Don’t wear headphones or earphones when you cross a road. Only cross roads where it is safe to do so. Wear visible clothing, especially at night. Motorists can only avoid you if they can see you.

Driving tired is as dangerous as driving drunk. If you are tired, pull over and rest. On a long journey, plan to take rest breaks in safe places every 200km or two hours. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted when you are driving or walking. No phone call or message is so important that it is worth risking your life, or the lives of others.

If you drive a public transport vehicle, be extra careful. Take personal responsibility for ensuring the safety of your passengers. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and your operating licence is in order. The Western Cape Mobility Department uses electronic systems to monitor public transport vehicles, drivers, and trips. Details of operating licences are available to traffic officers in real time. Tired drivers will be pulled off and made to rest before they resume their journeys.

Seatbelts save lives. Every driver and passenger must wear a seatbelt at all times, even on the shortest trip. Children under the age of three must be in an age-appropriate child seat. Set an example and fasten your seatbelt every time you drive.

Two motorists were arrested this week for speeding and 252 speeding offences were recorded. Never speed. Speeding drivers risk the lives of the people in their vehicles, and the lives of others. It is best to travel slowly and carefully so that you will be able to react to emergencies in time. If a vehicle travelling at only 60km/h crashes, a 55kg person without a seatbelt will experience an impact of over 19 000kg! With a seatbelt, the force will be about 3 800kg.

PTS conducted 304 integrated roadblocks, vehicle check points and speed control operations between 27 March and 2 April, and 33 169 vehicles were stopped and checked. A total of 8 897 fines were issued for traffic violations ranging from driver to vehicle fitness.

A total of 252 speeding offences were recorded. The highest speeds recorded this week:

  • 167km/h in a 120km/h zone
  • 139km/h in a 100km/h zone
  • 109km/h in an 80km/h zone
  • 99km/h in a 70km/h zone
  • 94km/h in a 60km/h zone

 Eighteen vehicles were impounded and 72 were discontinued for unroadworthiness.

 Arrests – 49 arrests were made for the following offences:

  • 38 x driving under the influence of alcohol.
  • 2 x speeding.
  • 1 x reckless and negligent driving.
  • 1 x goods overloading.
  • 4 x possession of fraudulent documentation.
  • 2 x inducing an authorised officer or peace officer to act in conflict with his/ her duty.
  • 1 x possession of a stolen vehicle.

Fatalities – 25 crashes occurred in the reporting period, and 31 fatalities were recorded:

  • 5 x drivers.
  • 1 x cyclist.
  • 2 x motorcyclists.
  • 1 x other.
  • 10 x passengers.
  • 12 x pedestrians.

Note to editors: please contact Rebecca Campbell on 076 783 2583 for a sound bite.

Media queries:

Rebecca Campbell

Spokesperson for Minister Ricardo Mackenzie

076 783 2583