Horrific details of motor vehicle crashes this past weekend have again highlighted the need for motorists to be extra vigilant over the Easter weekend period, the Automobile Association (AA) has warned.
Brian Joss – The Association said the various long weekends in this period, and leave people were taking advantage of, was resulting in an increase in traffic volumes on many roads, and the associated heightened risk to travellers.
At least 19 people were killed in crashes in the Western Cape over the past long weekend; four people died in a head-on collision, while several pedestrians were also killed.
“There will undoubtedly be more cars on the road as people drive to and from their holiday destinations. It’s important that motorists are aware of the increase in volumes, and that they adjust their driving accordingly. Do not be in a hurry to get to your destination, buckle-up, and arrive safely rather than not at all,” the AA said.
Road death toll statistics from the December festive season increased by an alarming 14 percent on the previous year, and the AA said it is important that this trend does not continue into the Easter period.
“When we commented on the December figures we noted our concern, and pointed to poor driver attitude as a major contributor to road crashes, and, ultimately, road deaths. We again urge all motorists to pay attention while driving, and to obey the rules of the road. There is no point complaining about a lack of law enforcement, poor road conditions, or the behaviour of other motorists, if you don’t take responsibility for your own actions first,” said the AA.
The AA said it is important for all motorists to be aware of, and to obey, the speed limits on the roads they were using, to not use cellphones while driving, and to stop when they are tired. It also said many social events will be held where people would be drinking, and that is important that drivers remain sober at all times, or that motorists make use of drive home services such as the AA’s designated driver service.
“Motorists should also ensure their cars are in good working condition, that the tyres are in good condition and safe, and that the vehicle is able to take you to your destination and bring you and your family safely back again,” the Association commented.
Some important rules for driving this Easter are:
Always buckle up, including passengers in the front and rear
Ensure your child is in an appropriate, and approved, car seat
Obey the speed limit
Check your tyres (including the spare)
Be courteous and considerate to other road users
Apart from this, the AA noted, it is important that stricter law enforcement be applied to road traffic offenders.