Cape Town - The Western Cape Provincial Traffic Service (WCPTS) has called for safer driving as the public returns to roads while travelling back home for the new year.
The province has reported lower road related fatalities this past week compared to the previous week after implementing 52 integrated roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints and speed control operations which saw over 38 000 vehicles being stopped and checked.
In the past week 32 fatalities were recorded compared to 55 last week, with 22 crashes happening this week compared to 35 last week.
In addition 428 speeding offences were recorded and 9 505 fines were issued, amounting to a total of R8 525 750. The province also recorded 33 vehicles impounded and 83 discontinued for being unroadworthy.
The Traffic Law Enforcement team made 55 arrests of which 31 were for driving under the influence of alcohol.
Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell noted that while numbers of fatalities were lower, it was still concerning.
Mitchell said: “While considerably lower than the figures for last week, the number of road fatalities this week remain concerning to me. However, traffic volumes were higher as people returned home after the New Year’s Long Weekend and fatalities were lower.”
In the same vein, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) is worried about the potential strain road fatalities will have on nurses and other health-care workers due to the severe shortage of nurses.
Denosa spokesperson, Sibongiseni Delihlazo said: “This year there were serious jumps in incidents on the roads where many people died per accident and while some died, many were admitted. Those admitted placed serious strain on health-care workers as there was no hiring of nurses.”
Denosa expressed concern that more accidents were likely to be caused by the huge traffic volumes as travellers made their way back from holidays this week.
“Many casualties of accidents often result in fatalities – not because they could not be saved from their injuries, but because there are few health-care workers who could rush to the places of accidents and there are few nurses in trauma units in health-care facilities,” Delihlazo said.
WCPTS has advised road users to use caution as the new year progresses.
Mitchell said: “As the province prepares for motorists to return to their respective destinations for the 2022 academic and working year, and industries reopen, we appeal to all motorists and road users to practise patience, avoid reckless and negligent driving, rest sufficiently after every two hours of the journey and be considerate to all road users and vehicle types while travelling on our roads.”
Traffic management consists of Road Safety Management, Traffic Training and Development and Traffic Law Enforcement.