Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi says traffic officials must desist from taking bribes and adopt a no-nonsense approach to all motorists and road users this festive season.
Speaking at the department's festive season campaign launch in Bela-Bela township, Limpopo, on Tuesday, the Minister said law enforcement officials and the public must work together this festive season to reduce road carnage.
As part of the launch, the Minister handed over a wheelchair to a road accident survivor, spoke to taxi drivers and addressed transport officials on their duties.
"Not all of you take bribes, but you are all painted in the same brush," said Minister Maswanganyi.
Officials are expected to be tough with those who drink and drive on the roads.
"Our responsibility is to save the lives of the people. Let's do all we can to save lives," said the Minister.
He called on members of the public to work with officials and comply with their instructions.
"If you are stopped as a driver and asked for your licence, give it to the traffic officer," said Minister Maswanganyi.
Public transport warned to comply with law
Public transport was also given a warning to ensure they comply with all road regulations for their sector.
Addressing taxi drivers at the Bela-Bela taxi rank, Acting Transport Director General Mathabatha Mokonyama said taxi owners and drivers must ensure they have the correct and legal permits.
Taxi drivers are expected to have legal permits to operate which they should carry with them.
The department said public transport would receive special attention because minibus vehicles and buses account for about 10% of motor vehicles that get involved in fatal crashes on South Africa roads.
"The death toll from these vehicles is often high because of the number of people that they carry," said the department.
The department said while road fatalities and injuries occur all year round and it peaks during the festive season, it remains a major concern for government.
"Young people between the ages of 20 and 34 constitute the majority of people who die on South African roads," said the department.
Motorists can expect to be stopped at mobile testing stations where officials will test the roadworthiness of their cars.
Drivers will also be tested for alcohol levels at all road safety law enforcement activations.