Some 240 Limpopo Traffic College students would upon completion of their training boost the number of traffic officers on the road and assist in cracking down on motorists who fail to adhere to the rules of the road.
During the official provincial launch of Transport Month on Tuesday, Transport and Community Safety MEC Makoma Makhurupetje said the students would, once qualified, bring the total staff establishment of traffic officers to 1 380 which will help them deal with traffic congestion, drivers who break the rules and minimising road accidents and fatalities.
The day started with a parade by officials from different law enforcement agencies, public transport operators, cyclists and traffic students.
The MEC emphasised that Transport Month sought to raise awareness on the important role played by transport in boosting the economy of the province. She added that it also seeks to invite business and civil society to join hands with government in providing a safer, more affordable, accessible and reliable transport system for the country.
“As we launch this year’s Transport Month, we are pleased to see more work being done by our traffic officers to reduce the number crashes and fatalities on our roads. According to statistics provided by the MEC the province experienced 971 accidents against 1 391 in the 2017 financial year with Capricorn District being highly affected with 291 accidents. Overall the accidents resulted in 536 fatalities against 660 last year. One hundred and thirty-six pedestrians died against 208 and 235 passengers lost their lives compared to 241. Twenty-two percent (1630 less driver deaths occurred compared to 210 last year. Two cyclist fatalities occurred compared to one last year.
She further stated that they believe that the time has now come for them to step up road safety education measures in order to reduce unnecessary deaths. “From 15 December, officers will start operating 24/7 on all critical routes prioritising visible patrol,” she said, adding that the department has put aside enough budget for overtime in order to maximise visibility.
Story & photos: ENDY SENYATSI