‘Let’s get tough on road carnange’

Image courtesy stockxchnge.com

Image courtesy stockxchnge.com

“This was one of the most disastrous weeks in road traffic management in South Africa,” said Gilberto Martins, the CEO of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), yesterday.

Martins was speaking at the announcement of a new strategy to curb fatal crashes and took a strong stance on the issue, insisting “enough is enough”.

More than 60 people have died and 100 have been injured on our roads in the past week. There were more than five major fatal crashes, most of them involving public transport vehicles.

“One of the country’s major arterial routes, the N3 from Durban to Johannesburg, had to be closed for more than 10 hours at Van Reenen’s Pass when a dangerous goods tanker spilled its load when it was alleged the driver lost control,” Martins added.

He said it seemed that most of these crashes were caused by human error. The RTMC strategy targets all drivers but pays specific attention to public transport. There will be widespread monitoring of vehicles, verifying of drivers documentation with special focus on driver fatigue and substance abuse.

“We will monitor the loading of vehicles with regard to overloading, dangerous goods compliance and abnormal loads compliance,” Martins said.

Vehicles will be stopped and checked at tollgates, taxi ranks, weighbridges, roadblocks and public transport depots.

“It must be agreed that this will be a national rollout of public transport enforcement and the approach must be professional but vigorous, extensive and decisive specifically along identified hazardous locations,” he said.

“The drive must be a hard-hitting, zero-tolerance, no-nonsense approach with a message that enough is enough.”

According to the spokesman for the RTMC, Luthando Ngilana, all the partners involved are serious about curbing the accident rate in the country.

“The Pinetown crash was a wake-up call and this initiative is truly a collective effort from various departments and partners,” he said.

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