Holiday arrests climb to 13 000

2012-01-20 13:15

The transport department has reported that 13 439 drivers were arrested between December 1, 2011 and January 8, 2012, we have been told by transport minister S'bu Ndebele's spokesperson.

Which sounds great, people, except 9222 of those arrests were for outstanding warrants of arrest, not for road crimes committed during that period. In fact the actual real-life, real-time arrest score was only 4217 - a more accurate indication of how many drivers were people acting badly.

And which is, given the effort was countrywide, not a helluva lot, S'bu.

The breakdown of those arrested are was...

2492 for drinking and driving
162 for reckless and negligent driving
314 for excessive speed
9222 for outstanding warrants
635 for not having required permits
50 for fake documentation
117 for not having a driving licence
447 for other offences

The spokesman claimed: "During the same period, more than 1.5-million vehicles and drivers were checked, 526 735 notices of prosecution were issued for various traffic offences, and 6084 un-roadworthy vehicles discontinued from use."

The ministry reports that during September and November 2011 more than 3500 public transport and freight drivers were arrested.

In the year from October 2010 to October 2011, 6.28-million fines were issued, 21 575 people were arrested for drinking and driving and 60 313 unroadworthy vehicles were pulled off the roads.

Road deaths dropped by 75% in the festive season on the N3 between Gauteng and Durban (but the overall death toll was up on the previous year).

Ndebele commended emergency services for their work: "Whatever success was achieved during the December holiday was due to the dedication of our traffic officers, police officers and other members of our emergency services."

Reducing the number of road deaths, Ndebele sasid, was not negotiable.