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Drunk drivers on traffic officials’ radar this festive season

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula unveiled his plan to reduce the carnage on the roads over the holiday period in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

FILE: Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula (R) on 17 April 2020 at a press briefing at the Grasmere toll plaza on the N1. Picture: @MbalulaFikile/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said traffic officials would be on the lookout for drivers under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol this festive season.

Mbalula unveiled his plan to reduce the carnage on the roads over the holiday period in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

Officers manning roadblocks will also be checking for compliance with COVID-19 regulations.

Mbalula said he didn’t want the transport sector to become a super-spreader of the virus as people travel to visit friends and family.

ALSO READ: Mbalula vows transport sector won't 'enable' festive season covid-19 spike

Recreational drug users and drinkers who drive will face special scrutiny as holidaymakers take to the roads.

Mbalula said roads in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape with a high fatality rate would also receive special attention.

“We will further intensify law enforcement operations on private vehicles, public transport and heavy vehicles, with a focus on vehicle factors such as tyre-checks, load management (overloading of freight vehicles), faulty steering, defective brakes, including bicycles with no rear reflectors.”

He said last year’s festive season road death toll was down by 10% and that this should be improved on.

“This was achieved through intelligent deployment of law enforcement capacity leading to a swell of visible policing on the roads, particularly in the notorious hot spots.”

He’s again condemned attacks on trucks, saying the perpetrators would be charged with economic sabotage.

“We will not tolerate a situation where our roads are turned into war zones.”

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