Hundreds of motorists on Sir Lowry’s Pass during the 2017 Easter long weekend. Better have your brakes checked - for free - before you hit the road. File photo: David Ritchie / African News Agency
Cape Town - As many South Africans gear up for the long weekend, the City of Cape Town is preparing for its busiest time ahead of the Easter period.

The City’s safety and security directorate has started activating its Easter safety campaign, which began on Monday and is expected to run until Thursday.

Motorists are now able to have free vehicle safety checks done at any City-owned vehicle testing station. Public transport operators are also being encouraged to be part of Operation Exodus, which focuses on driver and vehicle fitness for long distances.

These special focus operations are conducted over and above the day-to-day enforcement operations run by the City’s Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Traffic Service departments.

Contempt for the law

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said: “Road safety will always be one of our priorities over the holiday periods. Easter coincides with the school holidays this year, so we expect many people to take a break from work and head to other parts of the country.

"If you're a private motorist, make sure your vehicle is in good working order. The same goes for public transport operators who have thousands of lives in their hands.”

He added that the bigger concern is the behaviour of drivers and the absolute contempt that many have for the law

“In the past week our traffic officers arrested 132 motorists for driving drunk, reckless and negligent driving and outstanding warrants." Smith said. "These statistics are par for the course, not to mention the increase in recent months in the number of public transport drivers who are found to be drunk behind the wheel.”

Lifeguards

More than 170 lifeguards will be on duty until April 9, when the school holidays end.Their hours of operation will be from 10am until 6pm daily and they will be on duty at various beaches such as Kogel Bay, Harmony Park, Strand, Macassar, Monwabisi, Mnandi, Blue Waters, Strandfontein, Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg, Danger Beach, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Hout Bay, Llandudno, Clifton 4th, Camps Bay, Milnerton, Melkbosstrand, Big Bay and Silwerstroom.

City-owned swimming pools open with lifeguards on duty between 10am and 6pm include the Blue Downs indoor, Long Street indoor, Mnandi, Sea Point and Strand indoor pool.

“I urge the public to please swim only in areas where lifeguards are present and to obey their instructions ,” Smith said.

Cape Argus