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No mercy for drivers without number plates this festive season

Chikunga lauded traffic authorities for reducing crashes during last year's festive season, but said it was the tip of the iceberg.
Chikunga lauded traffic authorities for reducing crashes during last year's festive season, but said it was the tip of the iceberg.
Image: Supplied/ER24

Motorists driving without number plates will be among those targeted during the festive season road safety campaign, transport minister Sindisiwe Chikunga said.

“This is generally done by speedsters and people who want to avoid detection by speed cameras. This is defeating the ends of justice, and such vehicles will be stopped and impounded until plates are properly attached,” said Chikunga at the launch of the campaign in Tsakane on Sunday.

Chikunga announced a six-point plan to deal with carnage on the roads during the six-week holiday season — dealing with pedestrian safety, vehicle roadworthiness, public transport overloading, drunken driving, speeding and execution of warrants.

She lauded traffic authorities for reducing crashes during last year’s festive season from 1,395 to 1,299, and fatalities from 1,808 to 1,560 compared with the year before.

“However, these figures will always remain a tip of the iceberg as our intentions are to have half this number of car crashes and fatalities by 2030 as is the global target set by the UN. We will therefore not lower our guard this festive season,” she said.

Each province has been given a target to achieve throughout the 365 Days of Road Safety campaign, she said.

Chikunga said instructions have been issued for all provincial authorities to conduct public transport inspections of buses and taxis at ranks and for trucks to be checked at weighbridges to ensure height and load compliance.

Road safety efforts will be intensified in the five provinces that account for more than 80% of road crashes and fatalities — Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. They will receive focused attention with night-time deployment of traffic officers and road safety activations intended to improve pedestrian safety.

“We know that our borders have been very busy during the festive seasons in the past and the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency has geared itself to ensure that vehicles coming in and out of our country are compliant with all requirements,” she said.

Ports of entry will be monitored including Beitbridge in Limpopo, Lebombo in Mpumalanga, Ficksburg in the Free State and Golela in KwaZulu-Natal.

She said the transport department will deal with corruption and bribery.

“Our own assessment tells us that corruption relating to the issuing of learners' licences 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 and the instruction to them is to show no mercy and arrest both corruptor and corruptee,” she said.

Corridor operations will be undertaken during peak travel periods linking provinces that share borders, and 24 routes that have recorded a high number of crashes and fatalities in the past will be prioritised. These include: the R573 (Moloto Road) in Mpumalanga; R71 in Mankweng Limpopo; N2 Idutywa in the Eastern Cape; N2 Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape; N1 Naboomspruit in Limpopo; R61 Mbizana in the Eastern Cape; N1 Mokopane in Limpopo; Ventersdorp road in North West; R61 in Mthatha, Eastern Cape; N2 Pongola in KwaZulu-Natal; R61 Mzamba in the Eastern Cape; N1 Musina in Limpopo; N2 Mount Frere in the Eastern Cape; N4 Middelburg in Mpumalanga; N1 Laingsburg in the Western Cape; N2 Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal; N1 Makhado in Limpopo; N2 Libode in the Eastern Cape; R61 Libode in the Eastern Cape; N4 Nelspruit in Mpumalanga; Francie Van Zyl road in Parow, Western Cape; N3 Harrismith in the Free State; M35 Folweni in KwaZulu-Natal; and N2 Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.


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