Drivers, passengers and pedestrians have been urged to be vigilant and to prioritise road safety during this long weekend.
South Africa celebrates Freedom Day and Workers’ Day, making it a bumper long weekend from 26 April to 2 May.
“We … can change our behaviour on our roads and renew, in line with our commitment to the UN Decade of Road Safety,” said Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi on Thursday.
Minister Maswanganyi warned that traffic law enforcement agencies will be out in full force on the roads this long weekend to spread the message that road safety is everyone’s responsibility and needs to be taken seriously.
“Our law enforcement officers have ramped up their road safety focus on high risk driving behaviour and will be targeting the well-known contributors to serious and fatal injury crashes, with our operations focusing on speeding, drunk/drug driving, vehicle defects, seat belt offences and inattentive driving.”
During the Easter long weekend, alcohol and speed contributed to fatalities and an escalation in serious road crashes.
About 235 people have lost their lives on South Africa’s roads during the Easter long weekend. A further 20 died last week in a bus crash involving school pupils in Bronkhorstspruit .
Minister Maswanganyi called upon all motorists to:
- adhere to the speed limit
- avoid driving under the influence of alcohol
- avoid use of cell phones while driving
- ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy
- do not cross the road where it is not safe to do so
- take regular breaksbuckle up, safety belts save lives.
The Minister also had other road safety advice, such as:
- Road Rage – it’s not worth it!
- Seat Belts: They really do save lives!
- Small Children? Install and use those “baby seats!”
- J-Walking? A step to disaster! Please don’t.
- Speeding? Slow down, show respect and live!
- Sirens? Pull to the right and stop!
- Pedestrians Ahead? Let them cross safety!
- Holiday parties? Your “designated driver” loves you!
He called on all those who will be drinking to be to be responsible drinkers and rather make use of public transport.