Help reduce road deaths - Martins

The transport minister visited the Joe Gqabi bus interchange to interact with drivers.

Buses preparing for the long drive to the Eastern Cape on 21 December 2012. Picture: Regan Thaw/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Ben Martins on Friday said he can only hope that the festive season road death toll is reduced.

He spent his Friday morning interacting with commuters and public transport drivers at the Joe Gqabi Terminus in Philippi East.

The minister said it was not just up to transport authorities to prevent accidents.

"Accidents happen and a greater degree of negligence would be visited upon our nation by people who drink and drive. We hope that people will be mindful."

Some commuters used shopping trollies to cart their luggage to the terminus.

Inside taxis and buses, passengers fanned themselves with road safety awareness pamphlets distributed by transport officials as temperatures soared.

Taxi driver Holloway Xonjana smiled proudly as he demonstrated to Eyewitness News how his vehicle was roadworthy.

"You need to look at the tyres. Mine are in good condition."

Traffic officers were out in their droves inspecting vehicles.

Martins said it was encouraging to see public transport drivers voluntarily having their vehicles checked.

Meanwhile, over 600 people have been killed on the country's roads since the beginning of December.