Pretoria - Unroadworthy vehicles found on Pretoria roads during the Easter period will be immediately diverted to traffic testing centres for thorough examinations, Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said on Thursday.

“If a vehicle fails the tests, it will not be allowed to continue on its journey. That is a major innovation because previously there would be a traffic sanction and they were allowed to proceed,” he told reporters at a traffic inspection blitz on the N1 freeway towards Limpopo.

“We should all admit that those are moving coffins. We will only learn much later that the people in those cars were involved in fatal accidents. This time they will be stopped from their journeys unless our testing centres confirm their fitness to be on the road.”

He said the city’s vehicle testing stations will be operational for 24 hours during the Easter weekend. Ramokgopa also said the city is also clamping down on pedestrians who cross the hazardous freeways.

“Pedestrians are not allowed to be loitering on major road corridors. A bus is being arranged that is going to sweep all the major corridors. The people will be taken to the courts of law because they are not permitted to be there,” said Ramokgopa.

He urged road users to respect traffic rules. Long distance drivers should take periodic breaks.

“We are going to do our utmost, working with other agencies like the SA Police Service and the Gauteng traffic department. In total we have 235 officers along the major corridors including the N1 from south to north, the R101 from south to north, the N4 and the R21 and the Moloto Road. We have 65 vehicle stations and about six operations centres,” said Ramokgopa.

There was massive traffic congestion on the N1 north leading into and leaving Pretoria on Wednesday morning as thousands of motorists made an early start to their Easter weekend breakaway.

Ramokgopa joined the numerous police officers inspecting vehicles and drivers on the N1 freeway, near the Carousel Plaza. He urged the traffic police officers to spot unroadworthy vehicles and inspect as many vehicles as they could.

“Any measure of breaching road rules must be punished,” Ramokgopa said. Tshwane metro police said the Easter operation would focus on issues including vehicle and driver fitness and speed law enforcement.

ANA