crashes cost you R43 bn

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

KwaZulu-Natal will not show any mercy to traffic offenders this Easter holiday.

This warning was made yesterday by provincial MEC for transport Bheki Cele.

Over the Easter holiday increased traffic volumes are experienced and a high number of accidents are recorded.

"Our country cannot afford to lose so many lives and witness serious injuries every day. Not only is the pain and suffering immeasurable for victims and their families, but the cost to the economy is more than R43 billion a year," said Cele.

Outlining the different campaigns that will be launched during the Easter weekend, Cele said law enforcement agencies, the police and traffic officers would be out on the roads in full force to ensure that road users comply with the rules.

Yesterday Cele, Department of Transport officials and traffic officers conducted a roadblock on the N3 North in Cato Ridge.

Drivers were stopped, tested for alcohol and given first aid kits.

In an attempt to provide a safer road environment during Easter, the Department of Transport and all relevant stakeholders have implemented a comprehensive road safety plan.

"Our Operation Juggernaut has been in effect for the past two months to intensify the enforcement of legislation relating to heavy motor vehicles, buses and minibuses in a well-coordinated manner to ensure the safety of road users on our roads," he said

A total of 315 people - 41 in KZN - lost their lives during Easter weekend in South Africa last year.

Cele said no one benefited from tragic accidents that happen every year.

"We all know that we need a greater sense of urgency since nobody benefits from this situation. But we also know that the onus for reducing the carnage on our roads is on road users themselves," he said.

Various road safety projects such as Project Blue Light, in which all patrol vehicles patrol with their blue lights on, the Lights On Campaign, which encourages drivers to drive with their headlights on in support of the national campaign, and Operation Vuka, which is aimed at heavy motor vehicles and drivers, are part of plans to make our roads safer, according to the MEC.