DOT pleads - drive carefully
Pretoria - The Department of Transport pleads with motorists to remain calm and exercise patience on the roads as they make their way back following the Easter long weekend break.
At least an average of 2 500 vehicles were recorded to be passing through toll gates on the N1 and N3 every hour.
Tiyani Rikhotso, DOT spokesperson said "We call on motorists to practice the most basic rules of the road and apply precautionary measures, i.e. Inspect vehicle fitness before hitting the road, drive within prescribed speed limits, do not overload vehicles [with people or goods], exercise great caution before and when overtaking, do not drink and drive, wear your seatbelts at all times, drive with your head-lamps on, keep a safe following distance, etc.
We believe that if motorists followed these rules, we would be able to avoid crashes on our roads."
After a somewhat quiet weekend on the major national routes (N1, N3 and N4), the DOT expects traffic volumes to be on the increase again as people would be returning home from various destinations.
Law enforcement officers will once again be out in all the major national routes to ensure the smooth flow of traffic and to act against road rules violations.
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has instructed officials to show no sympathy towards motorists who drive at excessive speed, drive under the influence of alcohol and other forms of reckless and negligent driving.
Excessive speeding, reckless and negligent driving, driving under the influence of alcohol have so far been identified as some of the major causes of road fatalities recorded during this past weekend.
"If a motorist can abandon their vehicle and run away when stopped by traffic authorities for inspection, it means that there are still people who deliberately go out of their way to break every rule under the National Traffic Act and therefore endanger the lives of others.
It’s for this reason we are saying authorities must show no grain of mercy towards people who break the rules of the road," says Ndebele.
Ndebele has called on motorists to take personal responsibility for what happens with their vehicle once it gets onto the road.
"Keep your body and soul together. Aim to save a life the moment you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Make a pledge to make our roads safer. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility," says Ndebele.
Ndebele believes government’s efforts to educate people about road safety and enforce the rules of the road are paying off. The minister has also hailed partnerships with civil society and the private sector as contributing factors to the success.
The minister sends heartfelt condolences to the families of those who died during on the roads this weekend. We also wish a speedy recovery to those who sustained injuries.