Durban - The IFP has called on all road users to exercise caution and put road safety first this festive season.
Khethamabala Sithole, the IFP spokesperson on transport said in a statement on Monday that the holidays have barely begun and there are already almost daily reports of horror crashes across the country.
Sithole cited a crash last week in Mpumalanga, between Morgenzon and Amersfoort, which resulted in the loss of nine lives.
He said this past weekend, reports revealed that a pedestrian was struck down by a car on the R21 North in Gauteng and died on the scene while a family of four were also involved in a head-on collision near Bloemfontein, but thankfully all survived, but with injuries.
In addition, he said on the N2 near Mandeni, a driver had to have a leg amputated after his vehicle crashed into a guardrail.
Sithole said these are just a few of the many accidents reported over the past few days, and the party’s prayers go out to all the families that lost loved ones.
“It is our belief that all of these accidents could have been avoided. Road users must stick to the speed limits and avoid reckless driving, such as overtaking on blind corners or speeding when roads are wet.
“We further encourage everyone who intends to consume alcohol to arrange for alternative transport, or to have a designated – non-drinking – driver when planning for year-end parties and other social gatherings,” he said.
He advised drivers who are embarking on long trips to other parts of the country to ensure that their vehicles are road-worthy.
“Check your tires and your brakes. Take turns while you drive or stop to rest every few hours,” he said.
The IFP also called on Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula to ensure that the traffic services are fully capacitated, with sufficient traffic officers available to conduct the necessary roadblocks, particularly at times when high volumes of traffic are expected on the roads, such as around New Year’s Day.
“Not only are these roadblocks essential to prevent drinking and driving, but they also provide an opportunity for officials to check for illegally obtained drivers licences, and to get drivers without the proper knowledge of road safety and traffic rules off our roads,” he said.
Sithole said the IFP acknowledges that the condition of our roads also plays a part when it comes to accidents.
“As the IFP, we will continue our ongoing campaign against potholes and to hold the minister to account for the mismanagement of our road network,” he said.