Over 360 arrested for drunk driving in Mpumalanga

MBOMBELA – Mpumalanga provincial traffic authorities have nabbed 365 suspects for driving under the influence of liquor.

The drivers were arrested during various operations which are part of the ongoing Festive Season operations.

Mpumalanga Community Safety, Security and Liaison MEC Vusi Shongwe has subsequently called on the criminal justice system to mete out harsher sentences to those who are guilty of transgressing traffic rules particularly drunken driving as it contributes to fatal crashes.

He said law enforcers should not have mercy on any wrong doers so that innocent lives are not lost due to recklessness of other people.

“We must rid our roads of stubborn motorists who are refusing to comply with the law and thereby placing other people’s lives at risk. We cannot continue to count the bodies because some people are continuously ignoring the law,” Shongwe said.

Another 25 motorists were also arrested for excessive speeding and they are also expected to appear in various courts across the province.

Due to recklessness of some drivers, the province has recorded 527 crashes since 1 December. Out of this crashes 96 lives were lost while 385 people were seriously injured.

The MEC said: “although this information is based on preliminary reports, the numbers do not look good as they have an impact on families that are in pain due to the loss of their loved ones. We need to have a serious change of driver attitude. Everyone who is on the road should take a conscious decision that they are not going to be part of the mayhem that is being caused by irresponsible drivers.”

Shongwe has indicated that operations will continue to be intensified as the New Year weekend approaches. He said that the traffic officers’ visibility will be enhanced even in secondary roads. The MEC explained that some motorists are avoiding the N4 Toll Road and other national roads because their vehicles are either overloaded or are not roadworthy.

He added that the presence of law enforcement on secondary roads other than national roads would assist in ensuring that drivers of vehicles that have defects are dealt with and those vehicles are impounded.

Shongwe said law enforcement officers should enforce the law without fear or favour and should also not allow any vehicle that has defects to go through.

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