More traffic is expected on the roads in the coming weeks as families from across the country prepare to enjoy the Easter holidays. Schools close for the Easter break on 28 March and reopen on 10 April. Easter Weekend begins on 30 March (Good Friday) and ends on 2 April (Family Day).
But, our message to drivers this year is different from the past.
This year we’d like to urge all reckless drivers to leave their families at home. And, if you’re a reckless driver who operates for profit, consider driving alone as well. All reckless drivers should drive on empty roads, preferably on closed circuits, of which there are many for hire in the country. In this way you’ll only cause harm to yourself, and not anyone else in the vehicle with you.
It has become apparent that many hundreds of thousands of drivers in South Africa obey the rules of the road, operate their vehicles safely, and look out for other road users. These drivers should be praised for playing their role in ensuring road safety on South African roads.
But, unfortunately, there are always those who spoil it for everyone else. There is a certain section of our road using public who simply don’t care about others, is only concerned about how quickly they can get to their destination, and who seems to think the rules of the road doesn’t apply to them. It’s these road users we need to single out as the reason for our horrific road fatality statistics.
As the holidays approach, all road users need to be aware that traffic on major routes, including the N1 to Limpopo, N3 to Durban, and N1 and N2 to Cape Town will be busier than usual.
Adjust your attitude when on the road this Easter. Understand that many people have a right to be on the road, and who all want to reach their destinations safely. Apart from obeying the rules of the road, all road users – motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians – need to respect each other, and each other’s right to use the roads.
It’s important for all road users to:
- Respect the rules of the road
- Ensure your car or motorbike is mechanically sound
- Ensure all tyres (including spares) are in good condition
- Ensure everyone in the car is buckled-up (or in approved child restraints)
- Obey the speed limit (and to drive to the conditions of the road)
- Wear a helmet
- Make themselves visible if they are walking
- Don’t drink and drive, or drink and walk
- Take a break every 200kms or every two hours to stretch legs and get some fresh air
- Pay attention to the road
Using the road comes with an obligation to be a safe road user, and to set a good example for youngsters. Unless we collectively aim to be better road users we will never achieve our goal of reducing the country’s road fatality numbers, and we will leave a terrible legacy for the next generation of road users.