Pretoria - Traffic authorities are gearing up to intensify law enforcement to deal with lawlessness during increased traffic volumes as holidays come to an end.
This is according to the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) agency which commenced plans to deal with heavy traffic on the roads as people will be travelling back to their homes and places of work for the new year.
Traffic volumes are expected to swell to between 1 500 and 2 000 vehicles an hour when holidaymakers return today.
Thousands of people who travel to various provinces through interprovincial roads that pass through Tshwane like the N1, N4, R101 and Moloto Road are still in their holiday destinations but are expected to make return trips from this week.
RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said drunk driving operations will be scaled up in cities, towns and townships to prevent unnecessary loss of life.
He said by December 30, more than 970 900 vehicles have been stopped and checked and 455 roadblocks set up nationwide since the start of the month.
“A total of 2 565 unroadworthy vehicles were discontinued and 2 562 were impounded. More than 4 013 motorists were arrested for drunken driving, excessive speeding and driving without driving licences among others.
“Motorists are advised to exercise extreme caution during this period because of heavy rainfall in many parts of the country.
“Drivers must reduce speed, increase the following distance between their vehicles and put the headlights on when driving in wet and rainy conditions.
“All vehicle occupants must have their safety belts on all the time. Night time travel must be avoided as this is the time when most fatal crashes occur,” said Zwane, warning travellers.
Motorists were reminded to avoid using regional roads wherever possible, especially as parts of these roads were not in a good state.
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said the South African government was seriously concerned about the high number of major crashes where five or more people perished in a single incident during the first half of the 2021 festive season.
It was established that 111 people have already lost their lives in 17 such crashes. This was just between December 1 and 22.