Law enforcement authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are out in full force to ensure that road users comply with traffic regulations as over 300 vehicles were stopped and searched during an intensified multi-disciplinary roadblock in KwaDukuza on Christmas Eve.
An unroadworthy bus fully laden with passengers that was travelling to Pongolo, in northern KwaZulu-Natal was immediately suspended after authorities found that it had multiple defects including faulty brakes. To avoid a catastrophic accident, the passengers were told to disembark, and the bus was impounded.
Speaking to motorists during the roadblock operation, Premier Sihle Zikalala said the province was tightening the grip on traffic offenders and all forms of criminal activities including drinking and driving, speeding and cross border crimes such as vehicle theft.
“Our provincial law enforcement authorities are closing in on criminals and implementing a zero-tolerance policy against those that break the law. Police will continue to conduct law enforcement operations and road safety awareness and education activations in the province even after the festive season in order to ensure safety on our roads. Ultimately road safety is everyone’s responsibility,” said Premier Zikalala.
During the multi-disciplinary operation in KwaDukuza today, a total 38 motorists were prosecuted for various offenses including driving unlicensed vehicles, overloading, faulty brakes, cracked windscreens, failure to produce driving licenses and not wearing seatbelts.
Premier Zikalala, who was joined by the MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni said the provincial government was concerned that road users continue to put the lives of other motorists at risk since the motorist with the highest alcohol content in the country was arrested in the province.
“Alcohol abuse is a serious challenge on our roads as well as excessive speeding. The worst drunk driver was caught on the N2 North at Winkelspruit in KwaZulu-Natal with a breath alcohol reading of 1.95mg per 1000 ml of breath. The legal breath alcohol limit is less than 0.24mg in 1 000 ml of breath. For alcohol operations, 117 motorists have been arrested so far since the beginning of December. We are concerned that the worst drunk driver in the country was arrested in our province,” said Premier Zikalala.
KwaZulu-Natal has recorded a 20% decrease in road fatalities on provincial roads from 178 deaths recorded in 2020 to 142 recorded this year over the period from 01 to 21 December, said Premier Zikalala.
“Despite these grim statistics, it is important to highlight that thousands of road users continue to respect the law and obey the rules of the road. We remain on high alert especially during inclement weather conditions because one death is one too many. We must all make a difference in reducing the road death toll and ensure that our roads are safe to travel on,” concluded Premier Zikalala.
More than 51 713 vehicles were stopped and checked by Road Traffic Inspectorate officers since 01 December, as part of the festive season enforcement plan aimed at promoting safety on provincial roads. Officers also arrested the worst speedster early this month who clocked in 191 kilometres an hour in a 120-kilometre zone on the N2 near Park Rynie. The 25-year old driver was detained at Scottsburg SAPS.
Major roadblock will continue throughout the province targeting various categories of crime including unroadworthy vehicles, overloading, distractive driving, drinking and driving, illegal drugs, illegal firearms and illegal immigrants.