“I wish to encourage all motorists and passengers travelling during their Easter season celebrations and holidays to continue to exercise caution, to remain calm and to observe all the rules of the road as they travel to their various destinations,” said Martins.
As part of government’s programme and the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 campaign to reduce road deaths, Martins said the department would focus on various aspects during this season.
More focus will be on driver fitness, vehicle fitness, speeding, wearing of seatbelts, drinking and driving, fatigue and pedestrian safety.
Martins warned that vehicles that were not roadworthy would be taken off the roads immediately and motorists found to be over the legal alcohol limit would be arrested on the spot.
“The Easter season in South Africa should be a period characterised by religious festivities and calm, and should not be turned into a period of sorrow by reckless, negligent and irresponsible driving on our roads.
“Our message to all road users is a very simple: observe all the rules of the road and we can all arrive safely and alive,” Martins said.
He added that the tragic crash that happened on 15 March 213 was still fresh on the minds of South Africans.
The accident happened on the Hex River Pass in the Western Cape, where 24 passengers lost their lives and many others suffered serious injuries after a passenger bus overturned.
“Families, friends, relatives and loved ones, and the whole of South Africa had been devastated by this occurrence. Let us all act responsibly on our roads and get to our destinations safely without regrets,” said Martins.