South Africa’s Transport Minister, Blade Nzimande, has warned law enforcement officers to desist from the habit of accepting bribes from motorists.
“I know that your work is challenging and can be very tempting when motorists promise to give you something so that you don’t give them a ticket. I want to urge you to resist that bribe. It may actually mean the end of your career,” Minister Nzimande said.
Addressing law enforcement officers on Tuesday in Heidelberg, Weightbridge on the N3, he said taking a bribe from motorists encourages wayward behaviour and motorists will know that there won’t be any consequences when they fail to abide by the rules of the road.
Mr. Nzimande officially launched the 2018 Easter long weekend road safety campaign, which is aimed at reducing road traffic accidents.
During the launch, the Minister interacted with motorists, emphasising that they should not drink and drive, they must fasten their seat belts and children must use car seats.
The Minister said more ambulances will be deployed on the roads to improve the time taken to respond to serious accidents and provide timeouts treatment to the critically injured.
This development is envisaged to minimise the severity of injuries and prevent loss of lives during a road crash.
The department is targeting a 10% percent reduction in road fatalities and crashes this Easter Weekend and it will have heightened operations throughout the country.
“It’s been shown that your [law enforcement officers] visibility on the road is a major contributor to reducing crashes and fatalities,” he said.
Nzimande said some of the factors that cause accidents are drunken driving, speeding and texting and driving.
“Motorists have to obey the rules of the road and also respect other motorists and traffic enforcement officers,” he said.
Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) Chief Executive Officer Adv. Makhosini Msibi said the agency will act decisively in relation to those who don’t abide by the law.
“We need to drive safely. If you are travelling long distances, let’s drive earlier and avoid taking our journeys after dusk because visibility is not that good.”
Msibi said the road death toll over the 2017/18 festive season decreased by 11% compared to the previous year, which is an indication that reducing fatalities is doable.
The launch of the 2018 Easter Long Weekend Road Safety Campaign took the form of an integrated law enforcement operation targeting long distance drivers at Heidelberg Weighbridge.
The campaign launch was held in in partnership with the Department of Health, municipalities and taxi associations, among others.