The City of Johannesburg has expressed concern following the arrest of 815 drunk drivers over the Easter weekend.
The number of arrested drunk motorists this Easter represents a 2.2% increase over the 797 apprehended during the same period last year.
About 99 motorists were arrested for speeding, with the worst offender caught by speed cameras travelling at 222km/h.
Members of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) have since Monday April 11 been working tirelessly throughout the city, mounting roadblocks in strategic areas and increasing visibility to ensure the safety of all road users. Additional shifts were introduced to increase law enforcement.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety Cllr Michael Sun was concerned about the increasing number of motorists who risked their lives and those of others by disregarding the rules of the road.
On average, JMPD officers arrest about 300 drunk drivers a week. This figure almost trebles during the Easter.
“As a department, we are committed to reducing road carnages and any element that poses a threat to safety on our roads,” said MMC Sun.
The Johannesburg Emergency Management Services (EMS) responded to a total of 22 calls over the long weekend, two of which related to major accidents in which several people lost their lives. On Saturday, there was a fatal accident on the N12 that claimed the lives of three people. In the other accident, which claimed four lives, beer bottles were found in the vehicle.
Before the Easter weekend, the City’s Public Safety Department embarked on an Easter Safety Road campaign, launched by Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba, in a bid to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on the roads and to encourage good driving and responsible behaviour among road users.
Cllr Sun said the campaign was not limited to holidays, saying the department would continue to educate motorists on the importance of wearing safety belts, driving within the speed limit and ensuring their vehicles were roadworthy.
“The department will increase the number of JMPD officers by 1 500 members before the end of the current financial year to ensure we keep our city safe,” said MMC Sun.