blitz nails 15 000 reckless drivers

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

With the festive season only weeks away, the KwaZulu-Natal transport department has stepped up its zero tolerance approach to reckless drivers.

Transport spokesman Nonkululeko Mbatha said the objective was to rid the roads of unroadworthy vehicles and drunk drivers to make the province's roads safer.

The clampdown will continue throughout the festive season.

Since the beginning of this month, Mbatha said 85616 vehicles had been stopped, and 15163 motorists charged for speeding.

Another 15588 motorists were caught on camera and would be issued with speeding fines.

She said 554 vehicles were found to be unroadworthy and 449 drivers were arrested for drunk driving.

"Another 1130 were found driving without valid licences and 819 motorists were not wearing seat belts.

"The department will take a zero tolerance approach on road offenders to prevent carnage and tragedy," Mbatha said.

October is Transport Month and the main focus will be on all modes of transport in terms of the Public Transport Act.

MEC for transport Bheki Cele yesterday lashed out at what he said were "businesses making profit at an expense of innocent lives".

This came after traffic officers impounded a bus belonging to Mwezi Enterprises at Park Rynie on the south coast.

They said the bus was a huge risk to passengers.

The bus had false licence discs and the front windscreen was held together by a sticker tape. The rear shock absorbers were broken off and the exhaust was wired on.

The bus was last tested for roadworthiness in 2007 and was operating illegally. The owner will be charged for displaying a false licence disc.