Festive season clampdown on vehicles without number plates

Transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has warned that cars driven without number plates will be impounded.

She said this was in an effort to improve compliance on the roads.

Focus on road safety improvement

“This is generally done by speedsters and people who want to avoid detection by speed cameras. It is defeating the ends of justice. Such vehicles will be stopped and impounded until number plates are properly attached,” the minister said.

Traffic volumes are expected to increase as holidaymakers travel to and from their destinations. Chikunga said law enforcement officials will be out in full force to ensure that the roads are safe during this time.

Authorities will be using technology to ensure compliance with the law on the roads.

Compliance and other risk factors

“Over this period, we are deploying personnel and technologies across the country, especially in high-risk accident-prone areas. This is to prevent incidents and accidents by ensuring all road users interact safely with the road.”

The department of transport, together with provincial and municipal traffic departments, transport agencies such as the Road Traffic Management Corporation, the Road Traffic Infringement Agency, the Cross-Border Road Traffic Agency as well the South African Police Service will conduct road safety operations.

“Heightened operations are to be undertaken from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Corridor operations will be undertaken during peak travel periods linking at provinces that share borders. Twenty-Four routes, which have recorded a high number of crashes and fatalities in the past, will be prioritised,” she said.

Border security, corruption

“We know that our borders have been very busy during the festive seasons in the past. The Cross-Border Road Transport Agency has geared itself and is ready. It will ensure that vehicles coming into and out of our country are compliant with all requirements.”

The following ports of entry will be monitored: Beitbridge in Limpopo, Lebombo in Mpumalanga, Ficksburg in the Free State and Golela in KwaZulu-Natal.

“Our relentless commitment to deal with corruption and bribery continues over this period. Our own assessment tells us that corruption relating to the issuing of learner’s licenses and bribery increase around this time. 

“We warn officials and members of the public to desist from corrupt behaviour, which is a major damper to our efforts of maintaining safer roads. Our anti-corruption agents will be deployed. The instruction to them is to show no mercy and arrest both corruptor and corruptee,” she said.

Fewer accidents, fatalities trend

Last year’s crash statistics showed that road traffic crashes decreased during the six weeks of the festive season.

They dropped by 7% from 1, 395 crashes to 1, 299.  On the other hand, fatalities decreased from 1, 808 to 1, 560.

“Therefore, everyone is called upon to put shoulders to the wheel to ensure a better outcome this season and throughout our 365 Day Road Safety Campaign. It is against this backdrop that we will be intensifying our efforts and interventions in the five provinces that contribute more than 80% of road crashes and fatalities,” said Chikunga.

Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga will receive focused attention this year. This will include nighttime deployment of traffic officers and road safety activations. The overall intention will be to improve pedestrian safety.

“Our interventions will be based on a six-point strategy that will guide all provinces in their operations this year. The strategy calls for interventions to deal with pedestrian safety, vehicle roadworthiness, public transport overloading, drunken driving, speeding and execution of warrants.

Intensifying efforts

“Special instructions have been issued for all provincial authorities to conduct public transport inspections. [The focus will be on] buses and taxis at ranks before they join the freeways. Weighbridges to remain open, to ensure height and load compliance.

“Heightened operations are to be undertaken from Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Corridor operations will be undertaken during peak travel periods linking at provinces that share borders,” Chikunga said. – SAnews.gov.za

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