Female law enforcement officers are to undertake massive law enforcement operations throughout the country in celebration of Women’s month and in an effort to reduce fatalities over the coming long weekend.
Integrated roadblocks involving officers from different authorities have been planned on all routes with a high number of fatal crashes. Statistics show that deaths on South African roads increase substantially over the long weekends with more people dying on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The abuse of alcohol has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to crashes and this will form a major focus of law enforcement efforts over the long weekend.
Road crashes exert a heavy burden on the economy, society and families as they involve economically active members of society many of whom are breadwinners and heads of families.
A study conducted by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the Centre of Scientific and Industrial Research has estimated that the cost of crashes to the South Africa last year was R166.2 billion. It is estimated that one death on the road represents an average loss of R4.6 million to the economy in terms of lost productivity, pain and suffering, medical costs, legal and funeral costs.
R71 Mankweng in Limpopo, R573 Umhlanga in Mpumalanga, N4 Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, N2 Libode in Eastern Cape, N1 Naboomspruit in Limpopo, N2 Umkhomazi in KwaZulu Natal, N2 Pongola in KwaZulu Natal, N2 Idutywa in Eastern Cape, R37 Mecklemburg and N3 Harrismith in the Free State. A total of 254 people died on these roads last year and the human behaviour accounts for nine out of 10 fatal crashes that occurred on these roads.
These roads have been prioritised for intensified law enforcement and female-led operations will be conducted throughout the month to make these roads safer. Massive road safety education and awareness campaign targeting pedestrians and passengers, will also be undertaken in support of women in law enforcement.