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Police out in full force over Easter

by Luyanda Makapela
on 20 Mar 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Law enforcement agencies in different provinces are expected to crackdown on lawlessness this weekend as holidaymakers make their way to their vacation destinations.

By noon on Thursday, high traffic volumes were already being experienced on the country's highways, notably the N1 highway between Gauteng and Limpopo, on the N3 between Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal and the M1 between Gauteng and Bloemfontein.

As thousands of people leave the country's major cities ahead of the public holiday on Friday and Monday, Arrive Alive spokesperson Ntau Letebele told BuaNews that traffic authorities will increase operations and capacity to deal with heavy traffic on South Africa's main roads.

"In order to achieve our goals, we will be focusing on driver behaviour, vehicle fitness, drunken driving and pedestrian safety," said Mr Letebele.

With this year's Easter Campaign themed: "Be Part of the Solution", Mr Letebele said the focus of will be on unroadworthy vehicles, especially on taxis and buses.

"Attention will be paid to speeding, drunk driving and seriously defective vehicles which will be impounded on the spot," he said.

"We urge motorists to buckle up and drive within the set speed limits while adhering to all the rules and regulation of the road," he added.

Speaking to BuaNews, Road Traffic Management Corporation spokesperson Thandi Moyo said by noon on Thursday, traffic had already picked up.

"We are currently experiencing high traffic volumes on the N1 between Gauteng and Limpopo particularly with Putco buses. About 950 buses have already passed on the N1.

"Tens of thousands of people are heading to Moria in Polokwane for the annual Easter pilgrimage," Ms Moya said, adding that they were expecting 1 300 buses through the N1 excluding heavy trucks and private cars.

In the Free State 1 200 vehicles were being counted on the N3 near Harrismith by the afternoon.

The vehicle count at the Verkeerdevlei toll plaza on the N1 north of Bloemfontein, was 800 vehicles an hour.

The traffic flow through the Free State is expected to peak by 6pm while no serious accidents have been reported.

On the N2 to Cape Town, Ms Moya said they were expecting a traffic jam as there is road construction currently underway.

Government has called on all South Africans to refrain from activities which contribute to unnecessary loss of life in our communities and on roads.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko said on Thursday: "The key message is that everyone must observe the laws, be sensitive to other road users and cooperate with the law enforcement agencies."

He said Easter coincided with school holidays and this often leads to high accident levels and unnecessary loss of lives due to high traffic volumes on the roads.

"This period is often associated with an increase in irresponsible and risky behavior which includes drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse and unprotected sexual behaviour," said Mr Maseko. - BuaNews

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