Northern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Mac Jack recently launched the province’s seasonal road safety campaign and promised to clamp down on illegal road behaviour.
According to Mr Jack, the festive season is punctuated by increased congestion on the streets and roads, particularly in the urban areas. The annual school holidays, closing of the majority of industrial sectors, major events and religious conference all contribute to the peak traffic seasons.
During his message, Jack pointed out that road transport remains the final method of travelling and urged motorists to utilise this limited share public space cautiously. “We all agree that this is a period of goodwill, happiness and joy, but yet many of our road users end up being either reckless or impatient on the road and this always leads to road rage, injuries and even deaths during this period. Innocent drivers, passengers and pedestrians become victims of such circumstance. We are saying enough is enough! This must stop now!” stated Jack.
Analysis of last season’s road fatalities indicated that the main causes were speeding, fatigue and alcohol abuse. MEC Jack reiterated that the province will continue to take a firm approach against those driving under the influence and unroadworthy vehicles as part of the government’s 365 Days of Safety on our Roads campaign.
The National Development Plan (NDP) includes critical goals from the United Nation’s ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety’ campaign and focuses on five pillars of road safety. This encompasses building road safety management capacity, improving the safety of road infrastructure and broader transport networks, developing the safety of vehicles as well as enhancing the behaviour of road users and improving post-crash care.
“Our law enforcement agencies will go all out during this festive season to clamp down on this carnage. We have an integrated operational plan, which details the strategies that will be applied. The fact that our province scooped a National Award for its law enforcement strategies during this year’s Easter period is a clear indication that we are deeply committed to our mandate of keeping our roads safe in our province. We are determined to defend this title and retain it over the festive season period. I would like to congratulate all our traffic officers and wish them well over the upcoming season,” mentioned Jack.
Jack emphasised several roads that have been earmarked as high death toll roads and warned motorists that intensified law enforcement and road safety activities will be focused on areas such as the R31 between Kimberley and Barkly West and the N12 between Warrenton and Hopetown. He also warned motorists to be extremely cautious of high concentration of pedestrian traffic in areas like the N1 between Colesburg and Hanover, the N14 at Kagung near Kuruman and between Kakamas, Keimoes andAugrabies near Upington as well as the N10 at Strausberg near Upington and along the N12 at Warrenton, Richie, Hopetown and Victoria West.
Jack also announced that the department will erect compulsory stops where officials will inspect vehicles for roadworthiness and drivers to combat driver fatigue and to curb drunken driving and speeding. All weigh bridges will also be operational throughout the festive period.
“As the MEC responsible for the safety in our province, I commit my department and the police to ensure that we have a safe and enjoyable festive season 2013,” concluded Jack.