The Road Fund has sponsored the Road Safety Department (RSD) to undertake the Annual Easter Campaign, as part of the Fund’s mandate to promote road user safety programmes, which was conducted by the Department throughout the country around Easter holidays time.
The campaign, held under the theme “Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer” was aimed at reducing road traffic accidents that have the potential to escalate during holidays like Easter; and to teach the public about road safety during these challenging times of the COVID 19 pandemic.
In an interview with the RSD Principal Instructor Ms. Neo Khoaele explained that the campaign was a success due to reduction of the number of road accidents from 4433 in 2019 to 2553 in 2021, as in the year 2020 the Easter Campaign was not conducted due to lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic
She indicated that some of the offences they dealt with during the campaign included drivers who failed to display public drivers’ licenses, overloaded vehicles especially in the rural areas, motorists who drive recklessly due drunken driving as well as unroadworthy vehicles, especially in the Thaba- Tseka district where there are no spare shops even for exchange of tyres.
She further noted that some of the challenges they had included lack of resources such as breathalyzers, and they were also at risk of infection of COVID-19 due to exposure to many road users; even though the team had the personal protective clothing (PPE).
She also highlighted absence of the Magistrate Mobile Court as another key challenge as some of the offences required immediate intervention of the courts, which would have been easy if the Mobile Court was operational.
Ms. Khoaele acknowledged the team for their hard work to make the Campaign very successful. She further warned the public to stop drinking and driving to avoid unnecessary accidents that affect people’s lives.
She emphasized the importance of road users’ use of safety belts while driving and as passengers, adding that the pedestrians should also remain vigilant when using the roads and should be aware of the road signs and markings.
“It is the responsibility of each road user to ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy, passengers should also be vigilant to ensure they remain safe especially on public transport, they should not aloe any overloading of vehicles”, she reiterated.
She concluded by pleading to the public to protect others during this COVID-19 pandemic and they should refrain from undertaking avoidable road trips, if they must take a trip then they ought to wear their masks and sanitize at all times to prevent the spread of the virus easily as they touch vehicles’ seats and safety belts.
The campaign was sponsored by the Road Fund to a tune of M470 00.00 and was undertaken in the three regions of the country namely the Northern, Central and Southern regions.