Free vehicle fitness testing available to motorists as holiday road safety plan is launched in Cape Town

The holiday road safety plan was launched on Monday in Brackenfell. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

The holiday road safety plan was launched on Monday in Brackenfell. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane African News Agency (ANA)

Published Apr 3, 2023


Cape Town - The Western Cape Mobility Department launched its holiday road safety plan on Monday and free vehicle fitness testing has been made available to motorists.

Western Cape MEC of Mobility Ricardo Mackenzie launched the safety plan at the Gene Louw Traffic College in Brackenfell.

“The school holiday has started and many families are preparing to travel. At this time of year, there is a considerable increase in traffic volumes, which means we need to be on high alert to avoid accidents.

“Last year we had 36 people dying on our roads during the April festive period. My wish is that all families will arrive at, and return from, their holiday destination safely this year.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. It is up to each one of us, whether a driver, a passenger or a pedestrian, to be the change we want to see on the roads. One of the most important things to do, before even leaving home, is to check your vehicle and make sure it is safe for being on the road,” Mackenzie said.

He said the Provincial Traffic Services are taking a new proactive approach to help motorists prepare for travelling over this holiday period by offering free vehicle fitness testing to check tyres, lights, brakes, suspension, CV joints, electrical, fuel supply system, exhaust, wipers, and licence disc.

Motorists have until Wednesday, April 5 to make use of the opportunity.

Mackenzie encouraged anyone planning to travel this week to bring their car to Brackenfell.

“But it’s not just about the holiday periods. Our traffic inspectors work hard 365 days a year to keep our roads safe, on duty patrolling and running operations, working closely with the South African Police Service and our neighbouring provinces.

“The Western Cape is still the only province that has a 24/7 presence of traffic services protecting our roads and actively reducing road fatality statistics,” Mackenzie said.

He said his department is expanding its integrated transport hub with a province-wide network of licence plate reading cameras monitoring road traffic enabling the immediate detection of:

– road traffic infringements, contraventions and crime, including unroadworthy, unlicensed, and off-route vehicles

– cloned number plates

– fatigued drivers

– vehicles known to be involved in crime.

Mackenzie said instant alerts from this system would be sent to the officers’ hand-held devices, which will enable rapid response and interception.

“While our traffic inspectors are out in full force, there are some basic guidelines we can follow to take personal responsibility for our own safety, and the safety of all other road users,” he said.

Here are ways to ensure your holiday trip is safe:

1. Buckle up – this will massively reduce the chances of serious injury if something goes wrong.

2. Every 200km, or two hours, take a break to reduce fatigue.

3. Do not speed, take your time on the road.

4. Do not drink and drive.

“If we want to see any meaningful reduction in road deaths and trauma in our province, we all need to take a long hard look at our driving behaviour.

“Taking chances, speeding, disobeying road rules and driving under the influence – amongst many other irresponsible behaviours we see on a daily basis – put the lives and safety of all road users at risk. There is simply no excuse. The stakes are too high.

“This holiday period, let’s make these changes so that everyone will arrive home safely after the holiday,” Mackenzie added.

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