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Chikunga calls for heightened vigilance on the roads

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga has reiterated her call to motorists and road users to exercise heightened vigilance on the roads as the festive season looms, with high traffic volumes expected to increase from Thursday.

Chikunga’s call comes after seven people lost their lives and over 50 sustained injuries during a major crash in Mpumalanga province.

According to reports, the incident occurred on Friday afternoon when a bus overturned on the R37 between Lydenburg and Sabie.

The reports indicated that the bus was ferrying passengers from Lydenburg to Sabie when the crash occurred. It is alleged that the bus had a tyre burst and the driver lost control and went through a barrier and down an embankment. The bus landed on its side approximately 30m from the road.

The Transport Department said crash reconstruction and investigation teams, together with law enforcement officers from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) and the South African Police Service, will conduct investigations and submit an investigation report accordingly.

Chikunga has sent her condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the deceased.  

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with all the families during this difficult time of sorrow.  Your pain is our pain and your loss is our loos.  

“We wish you all the strength as we come to terms with this tragic experience. We also wish a speedy return to good health to all the individuals who sustained injuries during the crash,” Chikunga said.

Chikunga has reiterated the clarion call for heightened caution and vigilance on the roads for motorists in particular and all other users.

“Road safety remains the responsibility of every individual. Let us heed the call and follow all the rules of the road without exception in order for us to save lives.  

“Roads are a public space that should be used and shared responsibly with due consideration for all the other users,” Chikunga said.

Road safety tips

With the festive season upon us, and traffic volumes are anticipated to increase as travellers make their journeys to and from various destinations.

The department reminded all road users of the following important road safety tips:

  • Do not drive under the influence of alcohol.
  •  Adhere to the speed limit.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy.
  • Avoid using cell phones while driving.
  • Buckle up at all times
  • For long journeys, take regular breaks.
  • Pedestrians must cross streets at marked intersections.
  • Pedestrians must wear bright clothing when walking in dark areas.

On 26 November, Chikunga launched the 2023/24 Festive Season Road Safety Campaign at Tsakane Stadium in the East Rand.

The globe commemorates the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims annually on the third Sunday of November to acknowledge sufferers of road traffic crashes and their families, as adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005.

The focus of this year’s campaign is on the impact of alcohol on road user behavior and its contribution to the carnage. – SAnews