The December Festive Season and Easter are the busiest times on South Africa’s roads. As a result the Department of Police, Roads and Transport during these times puts extra precautions in place through increased road safety and law enforcement visibility campaigns.
On 29 March 2018 the Road Safety Easter Plan was launched on the R57 National Road between Petrus Steyn and Reitz. This campaign aimed at reducing road fatalities and attaining the same successes over the Festive Season in December 2017 and January 2018 (article on P 11).
During the roadblock on the R57 vehicles were checked for roadworthiness, drivers and passengers were warned against disobeying any road rule and foreigners without the relevant paperwork were detained by Immigration Officers who were part of this combined stakeholder operation. They are to be returned to their countries of origin. The launch was only one of many law enforcement and road safety operations scheduled for the autumn school holidays/Easter period with special campaigns in Botshabelo, Ladybrand, etc.
Research shows that most accidents are caused by culprits without valid driving licenses, drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol and drivers who do not abide by the speed limit on national roads. Chief Director for traffic management, Mr. George Ramotsoto, led the proceedings at the roadblock and stated that “Our Province’s roads must be safe. The R57 is a very busy thoroughfare for traffic to and from the scenic Easter Free State, QwaQwa, Easter Cape, Lesotho and even KwaZulu-Natal and deserves continuous protection. Always adhere to the seven road safety rules (see below) and stay alert, cautious and patient on the road.”
In his reaction, the MEC, Hon. Sam Mashinini, said: “We would like to praise all Law Enforcement Agencies and other role players’ joint efforts, especially during these periods of high traffic volumes. Most families get together over the Festive Season and Easter, but for our law enforcers there are no such luxuries. Their only mission during these busy times is to ensure that the citizens of this country are safe on our roads and arrive alive at their various destinations. Thank you, men and women in uniform, for compromising precious time with your families and your willingness to guard our roads to save lives. Your hard work is indeed paying off.”