Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele calls for licences to be seized
27 Dec 2011
At least 18 people were reported killed in a road crash involving a mini-bus and car in the northern Free State evening, Monday, 26 December 2011.
According to Police, the crash occurred during a rain storm at about 17h30 on an incline on the R26 between Frankfort and Tweeling. This brings the road death toll to more than 800 since the start of the festive season, as per preliminary figures from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele has called for driving licences to be seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled. “We want to convey our sincere condolences to the families of all those killed in road crashes since the start of the festive season, and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
Such crashes are usually not accidents. They are normally caused through blatant disregard for traffic laws, which include overloading, drunk driving, speeding and unsafe overtaking, amongst others. In conjunction with the Ministries of Police and Justice, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority, we will continue to ensure that we are more aggressive in dealing with irresponsible drivers. Drivers arrested for any offence must have their driving licences seized as well as suspended and/or cancelled.
“As government, we are intensifying our efforts to improve road safety. However, each of us has an important role to play to stop this carnage which causes unnecessary loss of lives and injuries. Before embarking on a trip, test yourself to know your alcohol limit and test your vehicle. Wear your seatbelt at all times, rest after every two hours and take every precaution to stay safe on the roads. Public transport operators have a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers and drivers. Report any traffic offence to 0861 400 800. Enlist as a Friend of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, and pledge to obey all road rules,” said the Minister.
Traffic volumes are expected to increase again this week ahead of the New Year. Last Friday, 23 December, traffic volumes peaked at more than 2,000 vehicles per hour along major arterial routes.
With hundreds of motorists arrested across the country during the Christmas long week-end, law enforcement officers will continue to be visible in full force.
In the North West on Friday, 23 December, a taxi driver was arrested on the N4 highway outside Zeerust after cramming 40 passengers into a 22-seater minibus. He was released on R500 bail, and warned to appear in court on 9 February 2012.
In Gauteng on Friday night, 23 December 2011, 29 drunk drivers were arrested at roadblocks in Randburg, Soweto and Roodepoort. Three motorists were arrested in Johannesburg on Christmas Eve, 24 December 2011, for driving over the speed limit on the N1 south in Midrand, and are expected to appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on 28 December 2011.
Also on Friday, Tshwane Metro Police issued 229 fines to motorists during an inspection of 2,440 vehicles at a roadblock on the R101 road in Hammanskraal. During another roadblock on the Moloto Road, 207 vehicles were stopped and inspected. One Putco bus and a private vehicle were pulled off the road. Sixty six (66) people were screened for alcohol but found to be sober.
In the Western Cape on Friday, 23 December 2011, a man was arrested after he was caught driving at 220km/h on the N1 near Laingsburg in the Western Cape. The 33-year-old was travelling to Cape Town in a BMW X5 when he was trapped outside Laingsburg in the morning. The man was arrested and will spend the Christmas weekend behind bars.
Operation Exodus, which ran from 15 to 21 December 2011, saw officers checking 2,479 public transport vehicles for roadworthiness at the city's various public transport interchanges and at vehicle check points across Cape Town. During that random check, 1,902 vehicles passed the roadworthy test while 179 vehicles failed. One hundred (100) more vehicles returned for a second test, and 46 vehicles were suspended due to mechanical defects.
In KwaZulu-Natal from 1 to 25 December 2011, traffic authorities checked 218,612 vehicles and drivers, and issued 36,107 fines including 2,427 for not being in possession of a valid driving licence, 2,405 for not wearing seatbelts, 1,712 for unlicensed vehicles and 94 for inconsiderate driving. Nine hundred and seventy eight (978) un-roadworthy vehicles were discontinued from use. One hundred and forty-six (146) motorists were arrested for drunk driving, 41 for excessive speed and 710 warrants of arrest were executed.
In Limpopo since December 1, law enforcement officers stopped and screened 94,551 vehicles and tested 9,848 for roadworthiness at testing grounds. Four hundred and forty (440) vehicles were discontinued. One hundred and thirteen (113) drivers were arrested for drunk driving, and 29 for speeding.
Meanwhile, from 1 to 18 December 2011, 1,434 motorists were arrested across the country including 501 for drunk driving, 93 for excessive speed, 37 for reckless and/or negligent driving, 104 for overloading, 420 for not being in possession of valid public transport permits, 16 for not being in possession of a valid driving licence, 22 for false documents and 241 for other offences. During the same period, 544,379 vehicles and drivers were checked, 117,061 fines issued for various traffic offences and 3,956 un-roadworthy vehicles (the majority of which are buses and taxis) discontinued from use.
Over the past three months (September, October, November 2011), more than 3,500 public transports and freight drivers have been arrested as part of pre-December holiday traffic law enforcement operations and following Minister Ndebele's instruction that every bus and taxi must be stopped and checked.
Last month (November 2011), 1,047,345 vehicles and drivers were screened and 289,394 fines issued for various traffic offences. Four thousand five hundred and nine (4,509) un-roadworthy vehicles were taken off the roads. More than 5,100 drivers were arrested, including 1,724 for drunk driving, 160 for excessive speed, 111 for reckless and/or negligent driving, 64 for overloading, 2,539 for warrants of arrest, 106 for public transport permits, 106 for not being in possession of a valid driving licence, 31 for false documents and 346 for other offences.
From October 2010 to October 2011, 15,051,565 vehicles and drivers were checked, 6,287,308 fines issued for various traffic offences, 21,575 drunk drivers arrested and 60,313 un-roadworthy vehicles (the majority of which are buses and taxis) discontinued from use, as part of the new National Rolling Enforcement Plan (NREP) and million-a-month vehicle check announced by Minister Ndebele on 10 September 2010.
Issued by: Department of Transport
27 Dec 2011
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