Driving under influence of alcohol a major challenge over the festive season

A total of 3 078 motorists have been arrested on South African roads in the first 16 days of the festive period for drunken driving, speed, reckless and negligent driving and possession of false documents.

The arrests include two motorists who allegedly attempted to bribe a traffic official in the Eastern Cape as well as a motorist who was stopped while driving at 219 km/h in a 120 km/h zone on the N3 near Warden in the Free State.

The bribery arrests were made by one official after he was offered a R90 bribe on December 3 and a R100 bribe on December 16.

The highest number of arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol was recorded in Gauteng where 1 639 motorists were arrested. Meanwhile the Free State recorded the highest number of arrests for speed with 113 motorists nabbed.

Traffic officers conducted 258 roadblocks in all provinces and issued written notices (traffic fines) to 152 243 motorists for transgression of traffic regulations.

More than 10 000 drivers were given notices failing to wear seatbelts while 1 426 were given fines for talking on the cell-phones while driving.

Roadblocks and traffic law enforcement operations will be intensified again this week on the second peak travel period from Friday December 23 when motorists will be travelling to various destinations for Christmas.

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High traffic volumes were experienced on December 15 and 16 when factories closed and the sojourn to the countryside and coastal areas began.

Traffic volumes were highest between 10H00 to 20H00 on both days with more than 2 000 vehicles per hour recorded passing through the tollgates on the N3 south towards the coast.

Traffic authorities are planning a clampdown on road traffic violations over the Christmas long weekend in an effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities.

Motorists are urged to exercise caution, be aware of pedestrians and respect the rules of the road.

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