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Safety on the roads is a priority for the metro police over the long weekend. Road blocks will be set up and there will be a zero tolerance approach.
IT’S Easter again – long weekend time, but sadly a period associated with high road accidents. In an attempt to cut the shocking statistics, the Johannesburg metro police department (JMPD) will man a series of roadblocks on the City’s major roads.

JMPD spokesperson Wayne MinnaarJMPD spokesperson Wayne Minnaar: Drinking and driving wont be toleratedWayne Minnaar, the metro police spokesperson, warned motorists that offences, including drunken driving and speeding, were punishable with arrest.

“The approach is going to be zero tolerance. Our officers will be guarding every corner,” he said. “Drunken drivers and speedsters might find themselves behind bars this Easter weekend, and their driver’s licenses will be confiscated.”

He also warned that drivers who did not buckle-up might get a harsher punishment. “Drivers who cannot observe the rules of the road should be removed from public roads as they are a danger to everyone, including those who do not wear seatbelts.”

Public transport, including minibus taxis and buses, would be checked for the necessary transportation permits and roadworthiness at roadblocks. Vehicles without the required transportation documents would be pulled of the roads and their journeys would be dis-continued.

The same fate would befall unroadworthy vehicles. Minnaar pointed out that worn out tyres were a death trap and that vehicles with such faults could not be left to continue travelling. The tyres needed to be replaced.

The validity of driving licenses would also be thoroughly checked. This follows recent reports of fake licences that did not appear on traffic department records of traffic department.

Vehicles will be checked for roadworthiness Vehicles will be checked for roadworthiness Unroadworthy vehicles were another contributing factor to road accidents, but human error was the highest contributor by far, according to Minnaar. “Human error contributes to 84 percent of accidents of our roads … Our focus will also be on checking driver fitness.”

Minnaar urged to drivers to take regular resting breaks to avoid fatigue.

He said an increasing number of pedestrian fatalities over Easter was a concern. Most accidents involving pedestrians were caused by jaywalking. “Jaywalking is illegal and pedestrians found crossing highways will be arrested. The same will apply to pedestrians who are found drinking and walking on public roads.”

To promote pedestrian safety, the national Ministry of Transport will launch a 10-year campaign called Think Pedestrian on 11 April at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Houghton. The campaign is a global initiative driven by the United Nations. Under the slogan, “Together we can save millions of lives,” it is aimed at mobilising all nations to unite in promoting road safety.

Southern African Development Community countries are part of the initiative. It will be piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape, led by Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele. It is endorsed by Eqstra, Fleet Management and Logistics, and the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory.

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