RTMC: Encouraging start to Easter weekend traffic

The N1 to Limpopo and the N3 to Durban are seeing the highest volumes of cars per hour.

Traffic. Picture: Twitter @EWNTraffic."

JOHANNESBURG - The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says it has been an encouraging start to the Easter weekend.

Tens of thousands of people are making their way to holiday destinations to take advantage of the long weekend.

As usual the N1 to Limpopo and the N3 to Durban are seeing the highest volumes of cars per hour through the toll plazas.

The RTMC's Simon Zwane said, "If we do the comparisons between the week before Easter last year and this week, we think that it's been a very encouraging start. The same period last year, we had 121 deaths and this year we have 45, so that's a 62 percent decline."

Gauteng Traffic Police's Obed Sibasa says officers are monitoring the N1 to Limpopo and also expect traffic to pick up on the N3 south to KwaZulu-Natal and the N4 east to Emalahleni.

"Our operations are 24/7. We're also appealing to drivers to take rest breaks every two hours or every 200km. Very importantly, nobody must die in Gauteng."

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

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.