Ricochet News

Transport Deputy Minister expected in PE for long weekend road safety campaign

Apr 28, 2017
Transport Deputy Minister expected in PE for long weekend road safety campaign

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.

Thus, Deputy Minister of Transport, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, is expected to lead a road safety education and awareness activation in Port Elizabeth on Friday and also join Eastern Cape Provincial Traffic Police Officers during the law enforcement operation on the same day on R61 between the border of Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Friday’s activation and law enforcement operation are aimed at reducing road fatalities on R61 during the long weekend starting from Thursday to Monday, the Department said.

"The R61 is one of the routes plagued by fatal road crashes especially during high traffic volume periods.

"Ms Chikunga’s road safety education and awareness activation comes ahead of the Fourth United Nations Global Road Safety Week that will be held from 08 to 14 May 2017.

"One of the aims of this initiative is to improve road safety in the world.

"South Africa is committed to reducing road fatalities through the Department of Transport’s 365 Days Road Safety Campaign programme. The aim of this initiative is to campaign for road safety and save the lives throughout all the 365 days of the year."

Speaking on Thursday, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi, said; “We can change our behaviour on our roads and renew, in line with our commitment to the UN Decade of Road Safety.” 

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.

–additional reporting SAnews.gov.za