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Over 3,000 motorists arrested since beginning of festive season

Gauteng has recorded the highest rates of driving under the influence of alcohol, with more than 1,600 arrests.

Picture: freeimages.com.

JOHANNESBURG – More than 3,000 motorists have been arrested on South African roads since the beginning of the festive period.

They were handcuffed for offences ranging from drunken driving, speeding and reckless and negligent driving and the possession of false documents.

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) says Gauteng has recorded the highest rates of driving under the influence of alcohol, with more than 1,600 arrests.

Spokesperson Simon Zwane says, “Our law enforcement officers have been out over this long weekend and for the first 16 days of the festive season we’ve made a number of arrests from drunken driving, speed and other misdemeanours and it would seem that drunk driving is a big problem over this period.

“There has been more than 1,600 arrests made in Gauteng alone for drunk driving.”

MORE OFFICERS TO BE DEPLOYED

The RTMC says roadblocks and traffic law enforcement operations are to be intensified again this week, during the second peak travel period.

Motorists have been travelling to various areas including places of worship, beaches and homes for Christmas Day.

The RTMC says high traffic volumes were experienced over the past long weekend when factory workers and migrants began their journeys to the countryside and coastal areas.

Zwane says traffic volumes were highest between 10am to 8pm on both days with more than 2,000 vehicles per hour recorded passing through the tollgates on the N3 south, towards the coast.

He says although they have experienced fatalities on the roads, they are still working on the number of those who lost their lives over the weekend.

“Before Christmas, there’s going to be another traffic peak period and our officers will be out on the roads to ensure safety and compliance with the rules."

He says, “We urge motorists who will be travelling for religious purposes and to go on Christmas holidays to plan their trips appropriately and ensure that they avoid travelling during high-risk periods.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)