Metro Police around the country conducted road blocks as the Easter weekend traffic started to get heavy. Photo: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News Agency (ANA).
More than 36000 fines have been issued by the City of Cape Town’s traffic services since the start of the Easter period.

City traffic spokesperson Maxine Bezuidenhout said the fines had been issued for vehicle defects, unlicensed vehicles at checkpoints, speeding and unlicensed drivers since April 12.

Just over 25000 were for speeding, 382 for unlicensed drivers, 424 for vehicle fitness and six people were arrested at a roadblock in Lentegeur, Mitchells Plain on Thursday.

The city’s traffic services said updated statistics for the Easter weekend would be available only on Tuesday.

As part of Operation Exodus, 376 vehicles were tested and drivers were breathalysed at random.

“It was interesting to find out that minibuses and taxi drivers were happy to have their vehicles tested, so they know they are driving a roadworthy vehicle.

“For us, it is important to get passengers safely to their destination,” said City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith.

He warned that with the breathalyser used there was no need to wait on blood tests for months and offenders would be arrested on the spot and spend time in jail until the end of the Easter weekend.

“The city’s staff are all on high alert,” he said.

By Friday afternoon, two pedestrians had been killed, one in Kuils River and one on the R300. Another person died on the N1 on Thursday.

There has been an average of 27 fatalities over the past five Easter periods Western Cape.

In 2014, from April 17-21, there were 27 people killed on the roads. Pedestrians represented the highest number of casualties at 13.

In 2015 April 2-6, the deaths of 14 pedestrians, eight passengers, six cyclists and two motorcyclists brought the fatality toll to 30.

In 2016, for the third year in a row, pedestrian fatalities increased over the Easter period. Fifteen pedestrians, five cyclists and nine passengers were killed on the roads.

In 2017 the number of pedestrians killed dropped to five and 14 passengers, two drivers and four motorcyclists died, bringing the death toll to 25.

Kenny Africa, Western Cape traffic chief for the Department of Transport and Public Works, said there had been an increase in traffic on the N1 and N2 from about 2pm on Thursday.

“There were about 2800 cars passing through Sir Lowry’s Pass and the N1 toward Worcester was bumper to bumper at the toll road,” said Africa.

The department had recorded about 29524 vehicles passing through the Huguenot Tunnel from Thursday until about 11am yesterday. Last year it recorded about 80 000 cars on the roads during the Easter weekend.

“A lot of taxis left Cape Town since yesterday (Thursday). We have seen hundreds of taxis going towards Eastern Cape and Southern Cape. Taxis are still making their way out today (Friday),” said Africa.

He said come Monday there would be an influx of cars because it is not school holidays and holidaymakers will be headinging back for work and school on Tuesday.

“Coming back will be bumper to bumper and people will have to plan accordingly, otherwise they will have to sit in traffic.”

Weekend Argus