Easter weekend travellers can expect to be stopped a few times by traffic officials on all national, provincial and regional roads as authorities try to clamp down on law-breaking motorists.
Eastern Cape transport MEC Weziwe Tikana said road safety operations started yesterday and a large number of roadblocks would be set up.
“Our people must…know that the most important thing is for them to arrive safely at their destination,” she said.
Tikana warned against speeding, overtaking at the wrong places and texting while driving.
“We will also have roadblocks where we will impound cars that are not roadworthy,” she added.
The provincial health department said it was ready to attend to all emergency situations that might arise this weekend.
“We have already illustrated our readiness by the way we have responded to accidents this week. We are ready. We have the appropriate staff complement inline with our Easter planning,” said department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.
“Each hospital has a roster and we have vehicles. The vehicles that were earlier attached from the department by the sheriff were admin vehicles, and not ambulances. We have vehicles and air support.”
King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality mayoral committee member for public safety, Tshepo Machaea said one of the challenges authorities faced this time of the year was “young and excited drivers, who want to talk on their cellphones, text and speed while driving. Some also drink alcohol”.
Machaea, who reports on traffic incidents and is a church minister, added: “Some Christians will be travelling long distances to go to Easter conferences, and they overload the public transport they are travelling in.
“Christians must remember it is a sin to test God [by speeding]. It is also a sin to disobey governing authorities.”
Machaea urged pedestrians to exercise caution when crossing roads, because they were road users too, and should behave responsibly on roads.
East London police spokeswoman Warrant Officer Hazel Mqala said: “We will have operations all around the city. Our streets will be blue.”
In a drive to curb road fatalities this Easter weekend, Buffalo City Metro will deploy more traffic officers at accident hotspots across the metro from today, and safety officers at crime hotspots.
The metro had deployed 45 traffic officers to the inner city and would install three testing vehicles in East London to test vehicles for road-worthiness.
“We have intensified our safety plan to ensure an enjoyable Easter. We also urge our people to exercise caution and to also be aware of the law enforcement officers who will be ready to act in order to maintain order in the metro.” – Tiso Black Star Group/DispatchLIVE – By Siya Tsewu and Snmthandile Ford