Be careful out there – you’ll see far more South African police roadblocks on the road over the Christmas period. The warning comes directly from The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), so take heed. Cops will be keeping an extra eye out for damaged or unroadworthy vehicles that pass through their clutches. Should the police deem your car unroadworthy (or the bribe is not worthy enough), it runs the risk of being impounded on the spot.
Pushes for more law enforcement on the roads have already begun on some major roads around the country.
“Law enforcement operations are being stepped up on the roads, and officers have vowed to clamp down on unroadworthy vehicles as they contribute to road crashes and fatalities. No excuses will be accepted,” said the RTMC.
What to fix
The RTMC has said that the police are on the lookout for vehicles with these specific issues:
- Burst tyres (we’re not sure how you’d manage to get away with this at any time of the year)
- Defective lights
- Defective brakes
- Cracked windscreens
- Windscreen wipers
That isn’t to say the police will be lenient with other issues. Give your car a once-over next time you take it out of the garage.
The RTMC went on to say that its drunk driving rules are still firmly in place. Your blood alcohol concentration cannot exceed 0.05g per 100 millilitres. Professional drivers have higher standards, not being allowed to exceed 0.02g per 100 millilitres. It advised that during year-end parties, people should organize designated drivers or use public transport services to avoid driving drunk.
Licenses are another area drivers must sort out before driving around during the holidays. Police are expected to perform stricter licenses and license disk checks before sending you on your way.
Besides road-related incidents, you’ll be seeing more of the SAPS in general. This is due to a campaign to increase police visibility and hopefully facilitate a better grip on crimes such as break-ins. The main focuses of the campaign are:
- Combatting carjacking and robberies at residencies and businesses
- Upgraded border security – illegal border crossing, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc.
The threat of impounding is designed to scare drivers into having their cars fixed quickly. Retrieving a car from the impound is a major hassle. That’s not to mention the fees needed to get it out. After that, you’ve got to deal with having the car deemed roadworthy again. Throw in the extra costs to actually fix the car, and you’re looking at a rough holiday.