WESTERN CAPE TO CLAMP DOWN ON TIRED, DRUNK DRIVERS ON EASTER WEEKEND
Now Roger that and save lives
Is your driver falling asleep behind the wheel? Fear no more – in the Western Cape they will be forced to relax for five hours before hitting the road.
And if the driver doesn’t want to comply‚ provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said they will take drastic action.
“If necessary‚ we will take the keys away from the driver for the safety of his passengers‚” said Africa.
Africa was briefing the Transport portfolio committee of the Western Cape legislature this week about plans to reduce road fatalities during the Easter weekend.
“If we do get public transport vehicles – including taxis and buses – where the driver obviously looks tired‚ then we will stop and park that vehicle for at least five hours‚” he said.
His presentation showed that in the last three Easter weekends‚ 86 people died on the province’s roads. Of those only three were drivers‚ 42 were pedestrians and 23 were passengers.
Africa told Timeslive: “[Taxis] are driving up and down from the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape to try and get as many trips as they can for the weekend.”
The province uses its average speed over distance cameras to monitor these taxi drivers on the N1 road towards Beaufort West and on the R61 towards the Eastern Cape.
“If we do pick up that a taxi driver‚ for example‚ who has been driving three or four times on that road‚ we will stop that taxi to see if the driver is tired‚” said Africa
Officers will‚ among other things‚ check to see if the driver’s eyes are red due to a lack of sleep.
They will also ask from passengers whether or not their driver was well rested and if he showed signs of drowsiness during their journey.
Africa said they also use colour-coded stickers on taxis after they are pulled over.
The stickers display the name of the driver‚ the time they were stopped and their ID numbers and that makes it easier to check if the driver had been driving for too long.
Africa said most of the road accidents were caused by fatigue.
“We are not doing this for a joke‚ we are doing it because we know what the statistics are in the past years … we know exactly how many people die‚” added Africa.
Good Friday is on April 14 and Easter Monday is on April 17.
PHOTO: In the last three Easter weekends‚ 86 people died on Western Cape roads. Of those only three were drivers‚ 42 were pedestrians and 23 were passengers.
Image by: Lebohang Mashiloane