More than a million cars expected on the roads this Easter

Traffic managers gear up to deal with collisions and fatalities

The Easter weekend will see increased traffic volumes across South Africa's popular routes. File photo.
The Easter weekend will see increased traffic volumes across South Africa's popular routes. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi

More than a million vehicles are expected to be on the country’s main highways from Thursday as people travel to their destinations for the Easter holidays.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) is geared to addressing road accident as they expect more than 1.2-million vehicles travelling to different provinces over the long weekend.

RTMC spokesperson Simon Zwane said they expect motorists on the:

  • N1 north from Gauteng to Beitbridge;
  • N1 south from Gauteng to Cape Town and the Eastern Cape through Bloemfontein;
  • N3 from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal; and
  • N4 from Gauteng to Mpumalanga and the Komatipoort border post.

“These roads are expected to be busy on Thursday and Friday as well as on Monday when the holidays end,” Zwane said.

Last year’s Easter holidays saw 185 accidents, with 225 fatalities. The majority of the road deaths were pedestrians at 44.4%. This was followed by passengers at 27.7% and drivers at 25.6%.

Zwane said 28,000 traffic officers will be deployed across the country’s roads during the Easter weekend and will be joined by members of the police, the Border Management Authority and customs officials.

RTMC’s plans to address accidents that involve pedestrians, single vehicle overturning, hit and runs and head-on collisions.

“These collisions are influenced by alcohol abuse, excessive speeding and vehicle road-worthiness. We will be seeking to deal with these through drunken driving operations, testing vehicles including buses and taxis for roadworthiness, and education of pedestrians on safe road usage.”

Due to the anticipated high traffic volume during the Easter holidays, the Gauteng provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety urged the province’s law enforcement agencies to intensify measures in reducing road fatalities during the Easter holidays.

“The committee emphasises the collective responsibility of Gauteng residents and visitors to collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure road safety and prevent any tragic incidents during this period,” committee chair Bandile Masuku said.

Seven killed in Limpopo crash

Meanwhile, police are investigating a horrific accident which claimed the lives of seven people in Limpopo, six of which were family members.

A truck collided with a Toyota Corolla on Saturday morning when travelling through rain and dark mist. The fatal accident happened at the intersection of the N11 and the D2534 in the Ephraim Mogale local municipality in Sekhukhune, killing seven people, including a three-year-old girl.

Speaking at the provincial Easter road safety campaign launch this week, Limpopo transport MEC Florence Radzilani said they expect high traffic volumes due to congregants travelling to their various pilgrimages throughout the province.

The province recorded 181 fatalities on the road in the December festive period, with 48 being in the Sekhukhune district. Twenty-one of the 62 pedestrians killed on the roads were also from Sekhukhune.

Radzilani said majority of the pedestrians involved were walking home late at night from taverns and shebeens. “This gives rise to the suspicion that the majority of pedestrians who are hit by cars in the evenings are mainly intoxicated. It is for this reason that we have tailored our road safety programmes towards pedestrians as they are a critical component of our road-using community,” she said.



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