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Western Cape gets tougher on the roads

2014-06-11 11:01

DRIVING CLAMPDOWN: The Western Cape government has launched a province-wide operation to crack down on law-breaking on the roads and to encourage safe driving . Image: SAPA

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government has launched an operation to encourage safe driving through the winter 2014 season and crack down on law-breaking on the roads.

The province will work with the South African Police Service, municipal traffic authorities, the National Prosecuting Authority, Sanral and the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

The joint operation is scheduled to run until August 31 2014 and, the province says, its "collective efforts" will focus on:

 •  Driver fitness
 •  Vehicle fitness
 •  Safety and compliance
 •  Seat-belt compliance
 •  Alcohol and fatigue management
 •  Visibility and moving violations
 •  Dangerous road user behaviour
 •  Speed enforcement
 •  Load management
 •  Safety awareness
 •  Transportation of illegal substances

The operation will involve road blocks, vehicle checkpoints and alcohol blitzes while also focusing on fatigue, speed, public transport and pedestrian safety. There will be about 900 events over the three months.

SAFELY HOME

The province has reported that similar efforts in previous years yielded very positive results. More and more lives were saved but the death toll remained high.

MONTHLY FIGURES - Winter
            2008    2009    2010    2011    2012    2013
June       147     122     122      102      107      105
July        160     131     128      103       96       111
August    133     117     108      111       90       101
Total       440     370     358      316      293      317

The province said: "We are seeing the number of deaths gradually decline while traffic volumes increase and weather conditions deteriorate. There is no doubt that our concerted efforts are making a difference on our roads and that attitudes are changing. Drivers are beginning to exercise the necessary caution and act responsibly.

"Our fatigue management initiative continues to yield very positive results through its focus on long-distance public transport as well as private vehicles travelling long distances."

  Since the start of the project on December 22 2011 on the N1 between Beaufort West and Laingsburg, the province says, all public transport vehicles (later extending to private vehicles also travelling long distances) have been stopped between the hours of 8pm and 6am. To date, 46 023 vehicles have been stopped and 3203 of them parked because drivers were tired.

SPEED ENFORCEMENT

The following areas were identified as potential “hot spots” with regards to speeding:
 1  N1 (Paarl – Brackenfell)
 2  R27 (West Coast)
 3  N2
 4  R60 (Robertson – Worcester)
 5  N1 (Worcester – Touws River))
 6  N7 (Moorreesburg)
 7  N2 (Knysna)
 8  N2 (Caledon)
 9  N2 (Mossel Bay – Albertinia)

Enforcement efforts will be targeted at these areas, with the successful Average Speed Over Distance (ASOD) camera enforcement network already covering 351km of the province’s most dangerous roads:

R61Beaufort West to Aberdeen,
N1 Beaufort West to Three Sisters
R27 West Coast road
N1 Beaufort West to Laingsburg

with future planned expansions along parts of the N2.
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