From the news desk

Motorists urged to be vigilant over Easter

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Traffic and law enforcement agencies will double efforts to curb fatalities on the roads over the Easter holiday. The volume of cars on the roads is expected to increase over the long weekend.  Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has issued a stern warning to motorists that officials will be out in full force dealing with all factors contributing to or compromising road safety.

During a road operation on Friday to mark the start of the Easter weekend, provincial traffic officials said they are focusing their attention to long distance public transport vehicles. Western Cape traffic chief Kenny Africa said there would be a zero tolerance approach to transgressing drivers.

“People are dying on our roads and the causes of these fatalities is fatigue, drunken driving and overtaking at places that is not safe to do so,” said Africa.

He warned motorists against speeding on national roads.  Roadblocks will be intensified this weekend.

“If you do excessively high speeds, you will be arrested. And we can guarantee if you are arrested the weekend, you will be detained until Tuesday.”

In Cape Town, public transport operators are encouraged to be part of Operation Exodus, which focuses on driver and vehicle fitness for long-distance operators. These special focus operations are conducted over and above the day-to-day enforcement operations run by the City’s Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Traffic Service departments.

“The bigger concern is the behaviour of drivers and the absolute contempt that many have for the law. In the last week, our traffic officers arrested 132 motorists for driving drunk, reckless and negligent driving and outstanding warrants. These statistics are par for the course, not to mention the increase in recent months in the number of public transport drivers who are found to be drunk behind the wheel,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, Alderman JP Smith.

On the beaches and at tidal pools, 172 lifeguards will be on duty until 9 April 2018 when the school holidays end. Their hours of operation will be from 10:00 until 18:00 daily and they will be on duty at the following beaches: Kogel Bay, Harmony Park, Strand, Macassar, Monwabisi, Mnandi, Blue Waters, Strandfontein, Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg, Danger Beach, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek, Hout Bay, Llandudno, Clifton 4th, Camps Bay, Milnerton, Melkbosstrand, Big Bay and Silwerstroom.

Five City-owned swimming pools will be open with lifeguards on duty between 10:00 and 16:00 and these include the Blue Downs indoor, Long Street indoor, Mnandi, Sea Point and Strand indoor pool.

“While the weather has started to turn, we expect that there might be some good conditions in the forecast that will draw people to the beach or the swimming pools that are operational at this time. I urge the public to please swim only in areas where lifeguards are present and to obey their instructions. We had a tragic incident at Monwabisi this weekend where three people drowned and we will do everything possible to prevent further incidents. However, we need the public to play their part. This also includes not drinking on the beaches which is in contravention of our by-laws,” added Alderman Smith. VOC

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