"Violate traffic regulations and the basic rules of the road and it will be at your own peril!" This was the warning metered out by the Department of Roads and Transport in Limpopo to all road users at the start of the festive season. This tough and no-nonsense stance, which was maintained throughout the festive season, has saved many lives.
The high visibility and zero tolerance law enforcement approach resulted in a notable reduction in the number of road accidents and fatalities, when compared to the 2011/12 festive period. In 2011/12, the province recorded a staggering 383 accidents which resulted in 75 fatalities. During the current festive period, the province recorded 297 accidents resulting in 71 fatalities.
The fact that there were even higher traffic volumes during this festive season on Limpopo's roads, with a driver population of 666 969 and 558 799 vehicles (35 345 more vehicles than in December 2011), makes this reduction in road accidents and fatalities even more noteworthy.
The department's resolve of reducing road carnage has indeed been a major factor this past festive season. The department strengthened its law enforcement operations as well as road safety campaigns. Twenty five road blocks 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 busses being discontinued and 6 being impounded. Sixty three mini busses were discontinued and 43 impounded. This means that, as a result of strict law enforcement operations, a total of 180 vehicles were discontinued and 167 impounded. Two hundred and sixty seven road safety awareness activities were conducted throughout the province.
Because of the visible law enforcement and zero-tolerance approach, many traffic law violators were arrested. At least 53 drunken drivers were arrested, 54 motorists arrested for excessive speed, 2 motorists for reckless and negligent driving, 4 motorists for overloading, whilst a total of 511 warrants were issued. The highest speed recorded, resulting in an arrest, was 200km/h at a 120km zone and 118km/h in a 60 km zone.
The department deployed all its resources, human and material, and 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. 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.
Whilst 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.
Going forward, the Limpopo Department of Roads and Transport will continue in the fight against road carnage. It must be noted that the department's intensified operations will not end with the festive season but will continue into Easter and beyond. During Easter 2013, law enforcement and road safety awareness will focus on the main causes of road accidents, viz. speeding, jaywalking, reckless and negligent driving, as well as drinking and driving. Law enforcement initiatives will also focus on the hazardous routes and crucial times identified during this festive season.
The MEC for Roads and Transport, Pitsi Moloto, applauds, acknowledges and appreciates the selfless work by traffic officers as well as law enforcement officers. "These men and women sacrificed their festive holidays to ensure that all road users are safe.
The department will forever be indebted to their hard work and dedication." To the road users, Moloto emphasised that road safety is the responsibility of all road users. He indicated that all road users should ensure that they change their behaviour and respond positively to road safety tips and guidelines issued by the department.
Working together we can rid our roads of road carnage and Arrive Alive.
Issued by: Limpopo Roads and Transport