Pretoria - Authorities were out until late yesterday monitoring the national roads to root out troublesome motorists and unroadworthy vehicles as Easter holidaymakers started trekking back home.
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) said with many people expected to return to industrial hubs like Gauteng, tollgates had recorded heavy traffic from very early in the morning.
Using #LiveBeyondEaster on social media, it encouraged safe travelling and reminded motorists to obey traffic and road laws. The RTMC also uged motorists to keep a safe distance between vehicles at all times.
Travellers were encouraged not to take chances and engage in illegal activity like drinking and driving. By Sunday, 97 people had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in the in Eastern Cape alone.
“Accidents remain a big concern year after year around Easter and festive periods for the RTMC. On Saturday, a major crash with 11 fatalities was recorded on the N1 at Leeu Gamka. It was alleged a minibus suffered a tyre failure and a bus travelling from Beaufort West to Cape Town drove into it,” the RTMC said.
Spokesperson for the SA National Taxi Council and National Taxi Alliance in Tshwane, McDonald Makata, said the number of people at public transport hubs had increased drastically by yesterday afternoon.
“We were speaking to traffic officials at the Kranskop Tollgate Plaza and they said they were experiencing about 1 700 vehicles per hour coming back to Gauteng from Limpopo. The volume of traffic is only going to increase significantly and it will probably still be busy in the next couple of days.
"We have dispatched our teams, not just in Tshwane, but nationally as well to ensure that they monitor our travellers if they misbehave because we know that when traffic is gridlocked they can become frustrated and impatient.
“We understand they have not really had enough time to rest like everyone else, but we want to ensure they ensure the safety of our commuters. We are also asking our commuters to be patient with them. Let us all work together to promote safe travellers.”