As the Easter long weekend approaches‚ motoring and road authorities are hoping to not see another increase in fatalities.
A total of 235 people died on SA’s roads over the 2017 Easter holidays‚ which was an increase over just over 50% from the previous year.
The Automobile Association of South Africa’s message to drivers this year is different from the past.
“This year we’d like to urge all reckless drivers to leave their families at home. And‚ if you’re a reckless driver who operates for profit‚ consider driving alone as well. All reckless drivers should drive on empty roads‚ preferably on closed circuits‚ of which there are many for hire in the country. In this way you’ll only cause harm to yourself‚ and not anyone else in the vehicle with you‚” the AA said on Tuesday.
This year‚ schools close for the Easter break on March 28 and reopen on April 10. Easter Weekend begins on March 30 (Good Friday) and ends on April 2 (Family Day).
While many drivers obey the rules of the road‚ operate their vehicles safely‚ and look out for other road users‚ the AA said‚ “unfortunately‚ there are always those who spoil it for everyone else“.
“There is a certain section of our road-using public who simply don’t care about others‚ is only concerned about how quickly they can get to their destination‚ and who seems to think the rules of the road doesn’t apply to them. It’s these road users we need to single out as the reason for our horrific road fatality statistics‚” said the AA.
As the holidays approach‚ all road users need to be aware that traffic on major routes‚ including the N1 to Limpopo‚ N3 to Durban‚ and N1 and N2 to Cape Town‚ will be busier than usual.
“Adjust your attitude when on the road this Easter. Understand that many people have a right to be on the road‚ and who all want to reach their destinations safely.”
Here are Arrive Alive’s Road Safety Tips:
1 Obey the rules of the road and carry your driver’s licence with you.
2 Plan the route to your holiday destination and allow enough time to reach the destination — taking into account many road works and delays along the route.
3 Check that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition before departure. All lights and indicators‚ windscreen wipers‚ brakes‚ steering‚ exhaust system and tyres should be carefully examined for faults.
4 Do not overload the vehicle.
5 Try to avoid driving after dark if possible.
6 Have a good rest before you embark on your journey.
7 Take safety breaks/ rest stops every 2 hours or 200km
8 Never drink and drive.
9 Try to recognise potentially dangerous drivers on and pedestrians alongside the road and keep well clear of them.
10 Be visible – drive with your lights on.
11 Headlights should be dipped well before an approaching vehicle is within the range of the main beam.
12 Always wear your seatbelt and check to see that everyone in the car is wearing theirs.
13 Drive defensively with a focus on safety and respect towards all road users.
14 Stay within the speed limit at all times.
15 Only overtake when it is absolutely safe to do so. When in doubt — Don’t!
16 Avoid distractions while driving – leave cellphones alone – Remain focused and alert at all times.
17 Maintain at least a 2-second following distance — this distance should be increased at night‚ in foggy or rainy conditions and when the road is wet.
18 Expect others not to be as obedient to the law as yourself and think for the other road user as well!
19 Be courteous towards fellow road users — keep your temper and resist the temptation to retaliate.
20 Be alert to changing road and weather conditions.