24-hour Traffic Law Enforcement must hit the ground running

Issued by Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
Shadow MEC for Transport

As we enter Transport Month, it is clear that drastic action needs to be taken to address the ongoing carnage on the Eastern Cape roads, which is once again spiralling out of control as lockdown measures are eased.

The DA therefore welcomes Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana Gxothiwe’s announcement that her department will be rolling out 24-hour Traffic Law Enforcement on nine routes across the province, starting today.

In a parliamentary response, MEC Tikana Gxothiwe said 252 traffic officers were required for this roll out, and the department has a total of 388 traffic officers to patrol our roads 24-hours a day.

SEE: IQP 27 Question 639

I have been advocating for the roll out of the 24-hour Traffic Law Enforcement since 2014.

Statistics from August 2020, when the country entered level two of the lockdown, show that 48 people died in 33 crashes in our province. Fifteen of those killed were pedestrians.

The Democratic Alliance would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who have been tragically killed in these road accidents.

There is a clear spike in road deaths compared to level five lockdown, when movement was severely restricted. Speeding, reckless and negligent driving were deemed the major contributing factors to these accidents.

The ongoing tragic loss of life on our roads is unacceptable.

The DA will be monitoring this roll out and will hold the Department of Transport accountable if there are no visible traffic law enforcement officers on our roads.

People must be given the opportunity to get into a vehicle knowing that there is proper law enforcement on the roads, 24-hours a day.

The DA is committed to implementing stricter penalties for drivers who disobey the rules of the road and the policing of vehicles, such as overloaded trucks, speeding and negligent driving to reduce road accidents.

I plead with all road users to take extra care when using our roads and to obey the rules of the road, and to also be vigilant of pedestrians.