Drunk driving crackdown nets 20 000
Johannesburg - Almost 20 000 drunk drivers have been arrested in South Africa in the past 11 months, the transport ministry said on Monday.
"From October 2010 to September, 19 780 drunk drivers have been arrested," said spokesperson Logan Maistry.
Six hundred of those drivers were sentenced in the Western Cape alone.
"Forty-seven were sentenced to prison without the option of paying fines or serving another type of sentence," Maistry said.
One was jailed for four years, six for three years and the remaining 40 for between six months and two-and-a-half years.
"A further 12 had their licences cancelled."
Maistry said about 14 million vehicles and drivers had been stopped and checked in the past 11 months.
From August 31 to October 9, more than 300 000 public transport vehicles were stopped and checked, with 1 111 minibuses, 653 buses and 355 trucks taken out of service.
On Thursday and Friday, almost 60 public transport buses were removed from service in Gauteng and North West during raids at various bus depots.
"This is part of the pre-December holiday clean-up operation," Maistry said.
Another 125 drivers who failed to pay their traffic fines and did not contest the fines in court were arrested on the East Rand last week.
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele reiterated that road users who disobeyed the rules of the road would face the consequences of their actions.
"The carnage on our roads must be stopped," Ndebele said.