Traffic officials, armed with new technology, will be keeping a sharp eye on motorists in the Western Cape this Easter

2019-04-15 17:57
Traffic vehicle (Image: iStock)

Traffic vehicle (Image: iStock)

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At least 520 traffic officials are expected to be on the Western Cape's roads, rolling out a "fine-tuned" pilot project and working around the clock to ensure road safety this Easter.

This is according to provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa, who was speaking at a media briefing on Monday, where the province's Easter enforcement strategy was broadly laid out.

Western Cape MEC for Transport and Public Works, Donald Grant, said "our enforcement and awareness interventions have been designed to respond effectively to the expected increases in traffic volumes and vehicle activities that have become synonymous with this dangerous period".

Driver fatigue, irresponsible driver behaviour, speeding, drinking and driving (and walking), as well as passengers' failure to use seat belts continue to be the leading contributory factors in road deaths.

According to the Department of Transport and Public Works' own data, there has been an average of 27 fatalities over the Easter period every year in the Western Cape. Grant and the department have put into place a plan they hope will halve this number.

"We will be zeroing in on the public transport industry with special focus on our successful driver fatigue management programme. This new pilot has brought together crucial data from average speed over distance (ASOD) camera enforcement system, in-vehicle technology (dashcams) and our handheld devices," he added. 

READ: Cape Town traffic offers free roadworthies ahead of Easter rush

Africa said that these enforcement tools have now been used to track key fatigue-indicating data, such as departure and arrival locations, driving times of drivers, speed profiling, and vehicle tracking.

He continued that "we have fine-tuned this pilot project and are now prepared to roll the new system out fully on all major routes across the province that will be experiencing heavy traffic volumes, mainly from public transport vehicles, taking travellers to their various holiday destinations".

Africa added further detail stating that operations will also focus on "driver fitness and documentation, random breath testing (RBT), vehicle fitness, driving under the influence, passenger overloading and commuter safety".

In conjunction with national and provincial partners, the roughly 520 traffic officials will be "where you least expect it, keeping a sharp eye out for all activities on our roads," according to Africa.

He added "while our officers are not out to inconvenience anyone, it is, however, clear that where law enforcement officers are present, driver behaviour improves significantly. Increased visibility will form a key part of our approach over this Easter period".

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