Time has come that South African drivers should really reconsider their attitude and bad driving habits that adversely affect the lives of many innocent road users including pedestrians. Operation Hlasela to Make Roads Safe under the auspices of the Decade of Action is being rolled out in an attempt to arrest the horrific carnage playing itself on our roads daily. Print and electronic media are just saturated with gory pictures of people having lost their lives or being maimed on crashes.
Unfortunately, road crashes and fatalities become more prevalent during the festive season and Easter Week-end thus placing a huge burden on our economy whilst many families get tormented emotionally. It is common knowledge that the majority of these crashes are a result of human factor, e.g.
- level of driver training
- attitude and behaviour of drivers
- the level of driver self-discipline, self-regulation and law compliance.
These human factors manifest themselves in various road-user offences such as:
- drivers and pedestrians under the influence of alcohol and substances
- pedestrians jay-walking and walking on freeways.
- unsafe overtaking
- turning in-front of oncoming traffic, skipping red traffic signals and ignoring stop signs.
- unlicensed drivers and unroadworthy vehicles.
We call upon all road users to act responsibly, exercise extreme patience and abide by all traffic regulations. Law Enforcement agencies such as Traffic Officers, SAPS, Home Affairs etc. are going to be highly visible on all our roads to monitor the situation and take drastic measures against all the infringers. Drivers of vehicles travelling without registration plates or permits will be prosecuted and their license discs removed.
We appeal to all motorists to drive with their head lamps on even during the day. Drivers are urged to take a rest after every two hours because fatigue has been identified as a major contributor to road crashes. Road construction work is underway in almost all major routes and requires drivers to be patient and vigilant.
May I, on behalf of the Free State Government and the Department of Police, Roads and Transport take the opportunity to applaud the thousands of motorists who are law abiding and urge them to keep it up. A special word of appreciation goes to all the members of Law Enforcement Agencies for the service they render to make all of us safe and feel safe.