Expect more roadblocks in South Africa in the coming weeks – here’s what police will be looking for

 ·22 Nov 2023

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has released its Festive Season Plan for 2023/24, highlighting the routes that will get concentrated police presence through roadblocks and speed traps, as well as what traffic officers will be looking out for.

The festive season period begins on 1 December 2023 and ends on 15 January 2024, representing a period of 46 days.

The RTMC noted that the festive season is normally characterised by increased travelling and numerous joyous festivities, which means more South Africans do long-distance travel and nighttime driving while also consuming more alcohol than normal.

The Corporation said this increase in travel volumes results in excessive speeding; reckless and negligent driving; overloaded public transport vehicles; and driver fatigue.

This, unfortunately, leads to higher road deaths. According to the RTMC’s data, there were 12,436 fatalities in 2022/23. Of these 12,436 fatalities, last year’s festive season alone accounted for 1,560 – representing 34 motorists killed per day – while 1,299 fatal crashes were recorded over the period.

The data also noted that the distribution of fatal road crashes by province has remained constant over the last five years, with the Top five provinces contributing over 70% of the fatalities last year:

  • Gauteng (19%);
  • Eastern Cape (16%);
  • Kwa-Zulu Natal (16%);
  • Limpopo (12%); and
  • Western Cape (10%).

Therefore, the RMTC said that there will be increased police presence in five provinces and on roads with the highest fatalities. Some of the routes that will see more roadblocks will include:

  • N1 North stretch from Carousel Plaza up to Nyl Plaza;
  • N4 East from Nelspruit up to Machadodorp;
  • N3 from Hilton up to Durban;
  • N2 from Mthatha to Kokstad;
  • Bloemfontein to Colesburg;

Highways will also see 24/7 shifts of officers with patrol cars. There will be tactical blue lights and high visibility block patrol systems implemented, and routes will be covered with the following shift slots:

  • 06:00 to 14:00;
  • 14:00 to 22:00; and
  • 22:00 to 06:00.

Statistics dictate that law enforcement operations should be intensified from 15h00 to midnight, noted the RTMC.

The RMTC further noted that Traffic officers will be looking out for and clamping down on drinking and driving, speeding, and unworthy vehicles.

Last year, traffic officers specifically focused on defective brakes, burst tyres, and defective lights, with the RTMC noting that “Law enforcement officers will not hesitate to discontinue and even impound vehicles with the above defects, including cracked windscreens”.

The RTMC Festive Season plan for 2023/24 highlighted critical routes that have seen more fatal crashes taking place during the past five-year period.

The top 10 most dangerous stretches of road are mostly in the Eastern Cape, while the R573 Moloto Road in Mpumalanga is the deadliest stretch, with 33 fatal crashes recorded and 38 fatalities last year.

This is followed by Dutywa on the N2 in the Eastern Cape in second and Mankweng on the R71 in Limpopo in third – with 29 and 27 fatal crashes.

Read: Alert issued over new drive-thru and petrol station crime trend in South Africa

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter