10 December 2012

South Africa: Limpopo to Reduce Road Fatalities Over Festive Season

Polokwane — The Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport will adopt a zero tolerance approach to ensure road safety across the province this festive season.

Department spokesperson Joshua Kwapa said a zero tolerance approach would be enforced to make a meaningful contribution towards the achievement of the goals of the Decade of Action for Road Safety, as the province was anticipating high traffic volumes from this week.

"The method is the integration of strict and intensive law enforcement tactics with focused publicity campaigns," said Kwapa on Monday.

"High traffic volumes during the festive season on the roads leading to the province are expected as a result of the annual school and business closures, resulting in a massive exodus of holiday-makers from neighbouring provinces and countries."

He said the department would also stage roadside promotions in all five districts to educate users on road safety and highlight common causes of accidents.

"We must confess that these accidents brought despair and alarm. However, while we acknowledge the depressing picture these accidents paint, we remain confident that our law enforcement preparations and the deployment of our resources will, to a great deal, reduce carnage on our roads," added Kwapa.

Kwapa said reckless and negligent motorists would have no place on the roads this festive season.

He said increased traffic volumes would pose challenges such as heavy passenger vehicles, which lead to congestion and delays at toll plazas and border gates; overloading of public passenger transport; pedestrians jaywalking; drunken driving and speeding.

"Our focused and strict approach in dealing with these challenges has seen a reduction in comparative road fatalities," he said.

He said during December last year, 75 people (15 drivers, 45 passengers and 15 pedestrians) lost their lives on the roads compared to the 114 recorded fatalities during December 2010.

"The department will again show no mercy to violators of traffic regulations, with our Alcohol Evidence Centre in Polokwane being opened 24/7," warned Kwapa.

"We are calling on all road users to change their behaviour, observe all traffic regulations, exercise patience and further respect fellow road users."

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