motorists be warned

Penwell Dlamini and Mary Papayya

Penwell Dlamini and Mary Papayya

Motorists will be subjected to an unprecedented number of police roadblocks everywhere around the country during the Easter weekend as authorities try to stem the tide of road fatalities.

Spokesman for the Department of Transport, Collen Msibi, said plans had already been put in place and visible policing on the roads would be intensified this year.

"We will be deploying more than 10000 traffic officers across the country because recent research has revealed that visible policing does increase compliance with the rules of the road," said Msibi.

He said the department would be focusing on the roadworthiness of vehicles, fitness of drivers and worsening bad traffic behaviour such as crossing the barrier lines.

National Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said earlier in the week that one million vehicles would be stopped and screened to improve compliance with traffic laws.

Msibi said the number of roadblocks would not cause chaos or increase traffic jams because police would plan their campaign strategically.

"Yesterday and today we focused on long-distance routes, and tomorrow more focus will be on residential roads."

Gauteng's principal traffic safety officer, Obed Sibasa, said the province would adopt a zero-tolerance approach to drinking and driving, excessive speeding, negligent driving and pedestrian drunkenness.

"We will intensify roadblocks on major routes such as the N1 South, the N3 to Durban, the N4 to Mpumalanga and the N1 North because of the expected huge traffic volume of pilgrims travelling to the ZCC in Moria, Polokwane," said Sibasa.

l Meanwhile, thousands of people will be making their way to Johannesburg Park Station to catch buses, trains and taxis to different destinations across the country for the Easter weekend.

KwaZulu-Natal is bracing itself for a huge economic injection of R1billion from tourists over the holiday. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal said more than 1,5million domestic and 100000 foreign tourists will arrive in the province at the weekend.

Traffic officials in the province will be out in full force to ensure that motorists comply with traffic rules.

Insurance company Auto and General's director Angelo Haggiyannes warned motorists who have outstanding fines to pay them by the due date to avoid penalties and even being arrested.

"Traffic officials will be out in full force, so motorists should pay their fines in time to avoid disappointment," Haggiyannes warned.