File photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

Traffic officers will be out on all major routes this weekend – in marked and unmarked vehicles – in a bid to cap South Africa’s spiralling road carnage.

High traffic volumes are expected on the N3, N1 and N4 as inland residents stream home ahead of the start of the new school year on Wednesday.

Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesman Ashref Ismail urged all returning holidaymakers to exercise extreme caution on the roads.

By last night, 1279 people had died in road accidents across the country since December 1.


Ismail said the number of patrol officers would be increased and checkpoints would be set up on all major routes from today.

Officers would continue their drinking and driving blitzes in urban areas, as well as random speed checking, showing no mercy to offenders.

Ismail urged motorists to look out out for pedestrians and stray animals on the roads. He also called on motorists “to be responsible and exercise much caution and patience” on the roads.

Yesterday, Joburg metro police revealed that more than 800 drunk drivers had been arrested in Joburg over the festive season.

“We are talking about 806 we have arrested from December 1 to 31,” spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

This figure was substantially higher than the 688 drunk drivers arrested during the same period in 2011.

Joburg metro police would continue with roadblocks over the weekend. -The Star