Polokwane — Despite a slight reduction in road fatalities in Limpopo over the 2012 festive season, compared to the previous year, traffic authorities are not happy with the behaviour of motorists on provincial roads.
Provincial Roads and Transport Department spokesperson, Joshua Kwapa, said the department deployed all its resources, but still did not reach its target of reducing road carnage by 25%.
"This reckless, insensitive and negligent behaviour has resulted in the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport not reaching its target of reducing road carnage by 25%, even though the department pulled out all the stops to ensure a carnage-free festive season," said Kwapa on Wednesday.
"Traffic officers worked extended hours, working under punishing conditions to selflessly ensure that all road users arrive at their different destinations safe and accident-free."
Kwapa said in the 2011/12 festive season, the province recorded a staggering 420 accidents, including 83 fatalities, while in the 2012/13 festive period, it recorded 313 accidents, including 74 fatalities.
He said the communications team constantly maintained traffic alerts through the mass media to keep road users informed of traffic situations in different parts of the province.
"While we are pleased that the majority of road users responded positively to the department's approach to traffic management this festive season, the reality is that there are road users who opted to be different," he said.
Kwapa said the department strengthened its law enforcement operations as well as road safety campaigns.
He said 25 roadblocks were conducted in all districts, recording major successes with many vehicles being discontinued and some impounded.
"A total of 159 129 were stopped and tested and 26 101 notices were issued. During law enforcement operations, 60 light motor vehicles were discontinued and 29 impounded, with 10 buses being discontinued and six being impounded."
He said 63 mini-buses were discontinued and 43 impounded.
He said as a result of strict law enforcement operations, a total of 180 vehicles were discontinued and 167 impounded.
"Because of our visible law enforcement and zero-tolerance approach, many traffic law violators were arrested... The highest speed recorded, resulting in arrests, was 200km/h in a 120km zone and 118km/h in a 60 km zone.
"At least 53 drunken drivers were arrested, 54 motorists arrested for excessive speed, two motorists for reckless and negligent driving, four motorists for overloading, whilst a total of 511 warrants were issued," Kwapa said.
He said the main causes of these accidents were speeding, jaywalking, not maintaining a safe following distance, reckless and negligent driving, unsafe overtaking, as well as drinking and driving.
Department MEC Pitsi Moloto applauded the work of traffic officers as well as law enforcement officers.
"These men and women sacrificed their holidays to ensure that all road users are safe. The department will forever be indebted to their hard work and dedication," said Moloto.