The Gauteng Department of Community Safety appealed to drivers and other road users to obey the rules and make Easter a safe holiday.

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Community Safety on Wednesday appealed to drivers and other road users to obey the rules and make Easter a safe holiday.

As many as 18 000 police officers will be deployed countrywide to monitor road users.

"We must work together in ensuring that our roads are safe and fatalities are reduced, everyone who disobeys the rules of the road will face the full wrath of the law as there will be zero tolerance towards reckless driving in Gauteng this Easter season," said Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane.

The MEC warned against the rush to make profit, which "gives rise to serious forms of dangerous driving such as reckless and negligent driving, disregard to traffic signals and passengers overloading" among others traffic offences. 

"Motorists, particularly public transport operators are called upon to exercise the necessary caution in making road safety a priority following an alarming road accidents reported in recent times," said Nkosi-Malobane.

The MEC said the department will continue to raise road safety awareness, profile Gauteng law enforcement operations to curb road fatalities and address all forms of crime this Easter season and beyond and raise awareness on law enforcement zero tolerance on all traffic violations.

"As Gauteng, we must wage a war against road fatalities during the Easter season. We must also utilize our existing educational programmes to promote the plan. It is also our duty to reach out to our public transport operators at taxi ranks to inform and educate passengers on the importance of staying safe during this Easter season," said Nkosi-Malobane.

"The safety of our passengers within our public transport system remains a priority to Law Enforcement Agencies. We will ensure that our law enforcement agencies work tirelessly to ensure the safety of passengers in Gauteng during this Easter season and beyond."

Nkosi-Malobane said the department will be deploying community patrollers at the public transport hub to provide help and support to the general travelling public during the Easter season .

She said the department was working together with other responsible departments including transport to strive for an accident-free Easter.

During Easter in 2017 Gauteng recorded a 57% increase in road fatalities with 38 people losing their lives on our roads. Pedestrians made up a high number of the fatalities. 

Drink-driving, speeding, reckless driving and unroadworthy vehicles were identified as major contributors to road crashes. 

“I call upon the law enforcement authorities to act decisively in dealing with those drivers who don’t comply with the rules of the road and appeal to road users to be vigilant, patient and to adhere to the rules of the road to save the lives of passengers,” said Nkosi-Malobane.

African News Agency/ANA