Car, bus or taxi —here’s how to have a has­sle-free jour­ney to your hol­i­day desti­na­tion

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Speed­ing. Drink­ing and driv­ing. Not wear­ing safety belts. Th­ese of­fences are still the main causes of death on our roads dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son. In fact, 1 527 peo­ple lost their lives due to ac­ci­dents in De­cem­ber 2017. This wor­ry­ing statis­tic can be greatly re­duced, says Si­mon Zwane, spokesper­son for the Road Traf­fic Man­age­ment Cor­po­ra­tion. “Mo­torists are urged to play their part in re­duc­ing road crashes by obey­ing the rules of the road, avoid­ing al­co­hol, speed­ing and reck­less driv­ing,” he says.

Plan­ning your trip ahead will save you a headache. Zwane says 7 pm-12 am and 4 am-8 am are high-risk times for ac­ci­dents as vis­i­bil­ity is very com­pro­mised. So make sure you set off at a time that al­lows for max­i­mum alert­ness.

Be­fore set­ting off, make sure all your pa­pers are up to date. Has your driver’s li­cence ex­pired? Is your car’s li­cence disc still valid? Are all your traf­fic fines paid up? Th­ese, Zwane says, could make or break your trip be­cause if you’re stopped by traf­fic of­fi­cials en route, you will be fined – or worse, locked up.

In some prov­inces, you can now sort out all your traf­fic er­rands on­line. Do take ad­van­tage of that to avoid stand­ing in long queues.

For pas­sen­gers us­ing pub­lic trans­port, al­ways use re­li­able ser­vice providers, and re­mem­ber to book your tickets or with­draw enough cash ahead of time. Do have an emer­gency con­tact on hand should any­thing hap­pen.

It also won’t hurt to let some­one know where you’re go­ing, as well as your es­ti­mated time of ar­rival so they can check up on you.

Be mind­ful of any road works or clo­sures and keep an eye on weather con­di­tions.

“Leave your cell­phone alone!” cau­tions Ad­vo­cate Jo­han Jonck, Ar­rive Alive’s man­ager. “Drive de­fen­sively and be re­spect­ful to­wards all road users,” he adds.

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