Provincial authorities have expressed concern over road deaths ahead of the peak festive season traffic rush.
Between December 4 and December 10, a total of 20 crashes were reported, with 21 fatalities including five drivers, four passengers and 12 pedestrians.
“Our provincial traffic law enforcement is out in full force, with close to 600 traffic officers deployed across the Western Cape working collaboratively with other enforcement agencies,” said Mobility MEC Ricardo Mackenzie.
“Each district has a comprehensive programme of daily operations. These include: patrolling routes; enforcing speed limits; checking vehicle and driver safety; detecting drunk or tired drivers; passenger overloading; and seat belt usage.”
The City’s Operation Exodus is also in full swing, with 595 vehicles checked over the past week.
The operation focuses on vehicle safety for long-distance public transport operators and gives long-distance public transport operators a helping hand with free vehicle checks, combined with vehicle checkpoints around public transport interchanges to ensure vehicles are fit for purpose.
The traffic service offers free vehicle checks for long-distance public transport operators at Joe Gqabi and Bellville Driving Licence Testing Centres until December 24.
Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Many road accidents are the result of human error, but mechanical faults too can prove fatal.
“I also want to remind operators that we will have increased vehicle checkpoints around the PTIs and we will act against those who are non-compliant.”
Earlier this month, Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga launched the annual Festive Season Road Safety Campaign with a focus on the impact of alcohol on road user behaviour and its contribution to the carnage.
Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) spokesperson Simon Zwane cautioned road users to prioritise their own safety when participating in year-end parties and stokvel celebrations.
“Law enforcement operations are being scaled up across the country to deal with drunken driving, reckless and negligent driving as well as pedestrian safety. These operations will not be limited to freeways and highways.
Many will take place within suburbs and townships to improve safety and ensure compliance with the law,” said Zwane.
The founder of Arrive Alive in South Africa, advocate Johan Jonck, pleaded with motorists to practise patience.
“We plead with motorists to share roads with patience in these busy times.
Keep in mind that pedestrians amount to 40% of road fatalities – so remain alert and reduce speed,” said Jonck.