Overstrand Municipality’s Traffic officials joined the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW), the Theewaterskloof and Cape Agulhas municipalities, the South African Police Service Overberg Cluster, and all relevant emergency and disaster management services to launch the regional integrated traffic operational plan for the festive season in Caledon on 11 December 2018.
The launch is part of the broader Overberg District Safety Plan (DSP). The DSP is an integrated enforcement, education, engineering and evaluation plan that incorporates to all the elements that can contribute to road safety in the Caledon Traffic Centre operational area. The DSP aims to reduce overall fatalities by 33%, and child fatalities by 50%, by 2020.
This year’s traffic plan was applauded by the Mayor of Theewaterskloof, Christelle Vosloo, when she emphasised the importance of safer, booze-free roads for all road users.
Mayor Vosloo said joint traffic law enforcement operations between the DSP partners have yielded good results. “Random Breath Testing (RBT) operations at identified hotspots continue to catch motorists by surprise.”
With new in-vehicle technology, traffic officers in the Overberg District will be working around the clock to help create safer, booze-free roads. These motor vehicles are fitted with new patrol radios, “office in distress” activation, and a tracking system to perform a multitude of functions like live camera surveillance, automatic number plate recognition, and public transport operating licence monitoring.
Highlighting the purpose of the event, Traffic Chief Fraser said that road users must consciously think about decisions they take on the road. “At the end of the day, it is not only about your life, but the lives of others as well,” he added.
While addressing the traffic officers, he stated that “it is going to be a tough three weeks. The long hours worked and the protest actions have taken their toll - you are tired already and our busy season is starting on 14 December. But now is the time to step up. You can do it and I wish you well. Let’s make a difference and focus on our vision for this campaign - nobody should be killed on our roads this festive season”.
This sentiment was echoed by DTPW Director: Traffic Law Enforcement, Farrel Payne, who said, "Too many people are still not wearing seat belts, especially back seat passengers. Another concern for us is the scourge of drinking and driving. We will be applying pressure by enforcing the law, and intensifying our operations to curb those who disregard road traffic laws on Overberg roads this festive season.”
Payne reminded those present that bribery is a serious criminal offence, both for a person offering a bribe, and a person accepting one. His message to traffic officers was: “Arrest people who offer you a bribe, this is an insult to your profession.” He added that motorists should report traffic officers who solicit bribes.
He acknowledged that the Overberg suffered a lot of challenges this year but praised law enforcement collectively who overcame a lot of the issues, including public protest and fatalities.
A point that was further emphasised by Provincial Traffic Law Enforcement Regional Director, Nathan Arendse, who said, "This is only possible because of your willingness to step-up and make a difference. I hope we will see good results,” he stated.
Speedy, the Theewaterskloof Municipality Road Safety Mascot, also joined the traffic officers at the roadblock launch.
Speaking at the roadblock, Overstrand Mayor Dudley Coetzee made an appeal to motorists to not drink and drive. If you intend to consume alcohol, make alternative arrangements so that you will not have to get behind the wheel.
He concluded by saying law enforcement and traffic officers will maintain a high visibility and man joint roadblocks to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles and legally licensed drivers use the roads.