17 000 'ruthless' traffic officers to hit roads over festive season

2015-12-09 21:17
The death toll on South African roads has reached 1 200. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The death toll on South African roads has reached 1 200. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Pretoria - About 17 000 traffic officers will be deployed across the country as the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and government try to curb accidents this festive season. 

RTMC CEO Makhosini Msibi said traffic officers would not be allowed to go on leave during the festive season to ensure there was enough manpower on the ground.

"We have 21 000 officers throughout the country, but we will be working with an average of 17 000. There will be officers on the road after every 30kms," Msibi told reporters on Wednesday.

"Officers will be conducting visible policing, while others will be recording speeds between the different points motorists will be passing."

Msibi was outlining plans for the festive season and how they would go about reducing road carnage. He said one of the biggest contributors to accidents on the roads was speeding.

Msibi called on South Africans to stick to the speed limit. He added that there would be ghost cars on the roads to deal with speedsters.

"We are going to be ruthless during this festive season," he said.

Apart from dealing with speed, officers would also be checking on the roadworthiness of cars.

"There will be mobile weighing and testing stations on the road to ensure vehicles are roadworthy. We are not only going to be focusing on taxis because the majority of accidents are caused by private vehicles. There will be queues at the weighing bridges, it is a necessary inconvenience," he said.

The weighing and testing stations would also force people to rest and freshen up before continuing with their journey, he added.

He said people should refrain from timing their trips and should rather focus on getting to their destinations in one piece.

"We are impatient and don’t respect each other [on the roads]. People calculate the time and say, I will leave Pretoria at such a time and I will be in Durban in five hours. Can we desist from that? Can we push it to eight hours?" he said.

Msibi said a shift in mindset was required to be able to reduce accidents.

Since the beginning of December, 218 people have died in accidents throughout the country. The number is slightly higher compared to the same period last year when 205 people died.

Read more on:    rtmc  |  pretoria  |  accidents

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