Help to reduce fatalities this Easter
The City of Johannesburg’s Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) is ready to sound the sirens for its Easter Safety Campaign.
Speaking from JMPD headquarters, member of the mayoral committee for Public Safety says, “Easter is a critical period for the entire country and presents numerous safety challenges over this five day period as people journey back and forth for religious and holiday purposes and JMPD and EMS must be ready to deal with various incidents”.
These may vary from accidents, robberies, bylaw violations, violence, speeding, drunkenness, illegal liquor sales, hijackings and fires amongst others. According to Lemao, public support and cooperation especially from motorists is key in the success of interventions to prevent and or reduce road fatalities and drowning.
Continuing he says, “It is so important that the general public and motorists obey the rules of the road at all times, speeding is just not acceptable especially in wet conditions and driving without a safety belt”.
Accidents can happen at any time to any person as witnessed by the sad passing away of Minister Collins Chabane and his bodyguards. Lemao said that travelling should be a well planned, safe and calm journey with or to loved ones and not a rushed liquor fuelled affair that “ends in disaster”. There is going to be greater police presence on the roads, on and off ramps, highways and around shopping malls.
The use of cell phones whilst driving is also contributing to the increase in vehicle accidents and there are statistics to prove this. Lemao said that this practice was extremely dangerous adding that “if we must exchange a cell for a cell then we will do so”. During the 2014 Easter period there were 29 fatalities involving motorists, pedestrians and cyclists compared to 22 in 2013. The intention is to reduce road fatalities through breathalyzer tests, driver licence checks, vehicle roadworthiness and education.
From January 2015 to date 753 arrests have been made for drunken driving, speeding and reckless driving.
Emergency Services are usually stretched to the limit and there may be delays in getting to call outs. Together with other medical and law enforcement agencies there is a concerted effort to respond to crime and emergencies.
Operation Ke Molao launched last month has resulted in a significant drop in smash and grabs in known hotspots and the prioritized ones have actually been cleared of illegal trading, window washers and loiterers. The focus of this operation is to safeguard motorists from hijackings and robberies through deployment of police in strategic places and deal with traffic violations. It is not about the removal of beggars or traders who should in any case not be at these intersections.
Lemao urged the public to heed the call for behavioural change to make the City a safe place for residents and visitors alike.
Some safety tips:
Wear visible clothing at night
Avoid drinking and walking on roads
Always wear your safety belt
Do not text whilst driving
Obey all rules of the road
Reduce speed on wet roads
Indicate your intent
Do not make prank calls
Call 011 375 5911 or 10111 or 10177 for any crime or emergency
Issued on behalf of Councillor Sello Lemao
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety
By Virgil James
City of Joburg