WC traffic officials gear up for busy Easter

Traffic volumes will peak from today as people take to the roads to head off on holiday.

Traffic Officer who forms part of the Ghost Squad writing out a ticket in Cape Town. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape traffic authorities are gearing up for a busy Easter weekend.

Last year 23 people died on the province's roads over this period.

Traffic volumes will peak from today as people take to the roads to head off on holiday.

Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa said increased patrols will be conducted on major highways including the N1, N2, R300, N7 and coastal towns during the Easter weekend.

"We'll increase our roadblocks hours to go through to 4am and then also seeing that his is a long weekend, we'll be having roadblocks Sunday and Sunday evening right up to Monday."

Vehicle checkpoints, roadblocks, driver and vehicle fitness and pedestrian behaviour are some of the planned contingency road plans that will be implemented during the upcoming long weekend.

Provincial traffic officers say they want to avoid a repeat of last weekend on the roads, which saw 21 people killed.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has also deployed its own traffic officers to join officials from other agencies as they try to reduce road deaths around the country.

The corporation's Simon Zwane said the fact that the long weekend also coincides with payday, is even more worrying.

"It's payday weekend, but in addition there are also many other entertainment events that have been organised. All of these activities increase the risks, so we'll also be working around those events."

The RTMC said despite a decrease in the number of passengers who are killed in car accidents on South African roads, it remains concerned about the drunk driving statistics after the arrest of 688 drunk motorists in Johannesburg alone, over the past long weekend.

The RTMC said undercover anti-corruption officers have also been deployed to deal with bribery and corruption between officials and motorists.