Schools across South Africa close for the festive season break on 15 December and traffic on the country’s major routes is expected to increase significantly from then on. The Automobile Association (AA) says motorists must prepare both their attitudes and vehicles properly for their journeys.
“Driving is not only about having a vehicle which is in safe condition, but also about having a positive attitude behind the wheel. Getting enough rest before embarking on a long ride, obeying the rules of the road, and being courteous to other drivers is equally important. With our country’s annual high rate of crashes and fatalities, it’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure they play their part in making our roads safer,” says the AA.
The AA says it expects traffic volumes to pick-up on major routes such as the NI from Polokwane to Cape Town through Gauteng and Bloemfontein, the N2 along the Indian Ocean coastline, the N3 from Gauteng to KwaZulu-Natal, the N4 through Mpumalanga, and the N7 through from Cape Town through Namaqualand to the Namibian border.
“Roads will be busier and that always means there’s an increased risk of incidents occurring. All road uses must remain as vigilant as possible and focus on the road, whether they are drivers, passengers, riding a motorcycle, or a pedestrian. We must stress that while our country’s traffic law enforcers work exceedingly hard over this period to ensure everyone is safe, road users have a major responsibility to themselves, their passengers, and to other road users. Any attempts to reduce our country’s horrific road fatality numbers will amount to nothing without a concerted effort from everyone on the road,” says the AA.
In addition, the AA offers the following tips for travellers:
Road users should not forget that the country is still in Lockdown Level 1, and that the current curfew runs from 00h00 to 04h00 daily. People are advised to plan their trips properly, so they are not on the road during these times. It’s also a good idea to avoid the rush days on roads when traffic will be heavier: either leave a day sooner or a day later and plan the same for the return leg of your journey.
“The festive season is a time for family and friends, especially this year considering the restrictions from last year. Time away is valuable and travellers should not waste it by being stranded on the side of the road, or without accommodation. We urge everyone who will be travelling to make arrangements for their trip, to have the right attitude when they are on the road, and to enjoy their holidays,” the AA concludes.