Stay safe over the holidays – this is the message behind a multiparty Easter road safety campaign. Roadblocks will be set up and police patrols will be increased.
A BEWILDERED motorist stared at a mob of traffic officers and journalists who had gathered around his vehicle after he was stopped at a roadblock at the Buccleuch Interchange in northeastern Johannesburg.
MEC for community safety MazibukoMEC for community safety Faith Mazibuko chats to a motorist“Don’t worry, we are not from [the television programme] Cheaters,” the Gauteng MEC for community safety, Faith Mazibuko, reassured the driver as she gave him tips on road safety.
Not long after, a taxi full of schoolchildren heading to Pretoria was pulled over. Mazibuko ordered the children to get out to be searched by the police.
This was all part of the Road Safety Easter Campaign, which kicked off at the interchange on Thursday, 14 April. Several cars were stopped and searched in a joint operation by the Gauteng Traffic Police (GTP), the Johannesburg metropolitan police department (JMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Drivers with pending tickets paid their fines at a mobile station that had been set up at the interchange.
Mazibuko, who was accompanied by the member of the Lesedi Local Municipality mayoral committee for safety and security, Ald Koos Jonck; and the member of the Emfuleni Municipality mayoral committee for public safety, Nomvula Thulo, interacted with motorists, encouraging them to drive safely.
Cars are checked for road-worthynessCars are checked for road-worthiness“We are determined to build on our last year success, in which the province achieved a 60% reduction in road accidents and fatalities,” said Mazibuko.
Through the GTP, SAPS and JMPD as well as Sedibeng, Metsweding and West Rand District traffic departments, her department was implementing a law enforcement plan to ensure smooth traffic flows and compliance with traffic laws and public safety in general.
The Road Safety Easter Campaign will run until 2 May.
High visibility patrols
Speaking about the province’s activities during the campaign, Mazibuko said patrol vehicles had been deployed throughout Gauteng to enhance visible policing. “Roadblocks and check points will not only focus on vehicle and driver fitness, but also on vehicle searches.”
Various searches would be conducted with the SAPS to look for criminals, drugs and weapons. “These operations will not be confined to highways only. Provincial and municipal routes will also be targeted,” said Mazibuko.
Road safety tips A JMPD official hands out road safety tipsThe GTP, together with the JMPD and SAPS, have established camps at three sites – the Buccleuch Interchange, the N12 crossing and the Diepkloof Interchange. “These sites will also assist motorists with directions, information on road closures, medical services, eye and glucose tests.”
However, roadblocks in the morning would be avoided to avoid traffic congestions.
Mazibuko said law enforcement agencies would deal decisively with people found jay walking on major highways. “Instances of jay walking continue to climb. Our ability to root out the practice is crucial to achieving even bigger reductions in fatalities.”
Pedestrian fatalities continued to account for a significant proportion of statistics in the province, she added.
The director of the GTP, Molefi Mokoko, warned motorists that roadblocks would be extended at night. “Don’t expect any mercy from us. We are going to remove unroadworthy vehicles from the road,” said Mokoko.
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